Perth Amboy, NJ schools to vote on metal detectors, armed guards
🔴 A number of security measures will be up for a vote at Perth Amboy's next school board meeting
🔴 Student protestors said the schools are unsafe after an 11-year-old was stabbed
🔴 The superintendent is blaming the teachers' union for delays in the use of armed guards
PERTH AMBOY — As calls for increased security grow, the Perth Amboy superintendent says the school board will vote to add metal detectors, armed guards, and backpack searches.
In a joint letter sent out Tuesday night, Superintendent David Roman and Board of Education President Stacey Peralta said that the new security measures will be on the agenda for the next school board meeting, which is scheduled for Mar. 9. They noted the board also approved spending $497,000 on upgrades to video surveillance cameras at a recent meeting.
Metal detectors could come in the form of walkthrough frames or hand-held devices, according to the letter. They would need to be approved before backpack searches could be implemented. These measures would be bolstered by the presence of an unspecified number of armed security officers.
"These guards will be confidentially and strategically assigned to various school buildings as soon as possible," Romand and Peralta said. "It is the goal of the District to increase the armed security guards to every building in the next few months."
Along with improved security, the board is looking to create a new position for manager of security. Also on the docket is a school "climate team" that would address "discipline, restorative justice and school concerns."
The letter follows protests outside Samuel E. Shull Middle School and City Hall on Monday.
READ MORE: Perth Amboy, NJ super rebukes union for urging student walkout
High school students involved in a walkout Monday morning called for heightened security measures in the wake of the stabbing of an 11-year-old boy on Feb. 21. School officials say the fifth grader was stabbed by another student with a kitchen knife near the victim's home shortly after dismissal.
School officials say the victim is stable and recovering.
READ MORE: Students plan walkout after Perth Amboy, NJ fifth grader stabbed
The other student, who is also 11 years old, is charged with juvenile delinquency for offenses equal to attempted murder and aggravated. He is still being held at a youth detention facility, according to the Associated Press.
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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