With NJ school threats, ‘vigilance must be the order of the day’
Fortunately, nothing happened. But it could have.
Several colleges and universities across the region were on alert Monday, after the FBI warned of a “threat of violence” made online against “a university near Philadelphia. Campus security and law enforcement patrols in Jersey and Philadelphia were ramped up. Classes were held, but students were allowed to sit them out.
So what’s going on here?
“What we’re seeing reflected at our colleges and universities is a culture of violence, and no school or community is immune from it," said security expert Vincent Bove, of Vincent Bove Consulting. "so when there is an event or concern, it’ s always best to take the side of an abundance of caution, rather than negligence, which could be egregious and the results could be tragic."
He said the new reality, in Jersey and the entire nation is this: We’re dealing with regular incidents of “campus violence, school violence, workplace violence domestic violence and tragically it’s becoming a norm, which is unacceptable. Society has to wake up and realize we have to take our country back.”
He points out there is growing concern, not only in communities across the U.S., but in other countries.
“In other nations, we are under the microscope and they are saying, 'What’s happening in America? Do I want to send my students to an American school when so many incidents of violence are taking place?'" Bove said.
So should classes be cancelled when these types of threats are made? Bove believes it depends on the specific situation.
“When there is a threat and there is considerable concern that the threat has some degree of credibility, we must always choose an abundance of caution. We must listen carefully to the recommendations of law enforcement and follow their recommendations very precisely," he said.
The bottom line, Bove said, is “we must work as a community with our eyes wide open, understanding that this pervasive culture of violence has gone too far and we need to take our nation back. We always have to have our eyes wide open and realize an act of violence can take place anywhere, but we cannot react with fear, and not follow our normal way of life."
He suggests this really is a whole new way of life in America.
“It’s been going on for the last few years especially since Columbine in 1999,” he said. “Vigilance must be the order of the day.”