Education

N.J. Law-Enforcement Officers to Inspect Schools for Safety

By Catherine Gewertz — January 25, 2005 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

At the urging of the governor, New Jersey education leaders have joined with state and local law-enforcement officials in a plan to inspect every school in the state to make sure children are as safe as possible from potential terrorist attacks.

The joint effort was sparked by acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, who made school security the top education issue in his State of the State Address on Jan. 11. Two incidents helped forge that priority for the governor: the deadly hostage-taking at a Russian middle school last fall, and the October discovery of information about schools in two New Jersey districts on a CD-ROM in Iraq. (“Man Detained in Iraq With U.S. Guide on School Crisis Plans,” Oct. 6, 2004.)

Mr. Codey, a Democrat, pledged that all schools would be inspected by September.

See Also

The state police will design and administer training for state and local law-enforcement officers who will conduct walk-throughs of all 4,400 public and private schools in the Garden State, said acting Lt. Douglas J. Heath, the supervisor of the state police department’s infrastructure-security unit.

Those visits are intended to produce an overall profile of the schools’ security practices and vulnerabilities, which will be used to develop specific security recommendations for each school, Lt. Heath said.

A spring forum planned for Rutgers University in New Brunswick is to provide more training and opportunities for dialogue for school leaders.

Detection and Prevention

Since the 1999 shootings at Colorado’s Columbine High School, schools in New Jersey have been required to draw up crisis-response plans. But the new program is aimed at detection of and prevention against attack, said Susan Martz, the director of the state department of education’s office of program services, which is overseeing the inspection program.

Teams will examine buildings and grounds for a wide range of security vulnerabilities, such as keeping all school doors unlocked or allowing bushes to serve as good hiding places, Ms. Martz said. Many improvements are possible with little training or cost, she said, especially posting a monitor at one main entry and keeping all other doors locked.

Comments from law-enforcement officials will offer school leaders a fresh, critical view, she said.

“There are many things we wouldn’t necessarily as educators think to look at when we think of the security of our facilities,” Ms. Martz said. “From law enforcement, you get a whole different perspective.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 26, 2005 edition of Education Week as N.J. Law-Enforcement Officers to Inspect Schools for Safety

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Accelerate Learning with Project-Based Learning
Earlier this year, the George Lucas Educational Foundation released four new studies highlighting how project-based learning (PBL) helps accelerate student learning—across age groups, multiple disciplines, and different socio-economic statuses. With this year’s emphasis on unfinished
Content provided by SmartLab Learning
School & District Management Live Online Discussion Principal Overload: How to Manage Anxiety, Stress, and Tough Decisions
According to recent surveys, more than 40 percent of principals are considering leaving their jobs. With the pandemic, running a school building has become even more complicated, and principals' workloads continue to grow. If we

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Gunman in Parkland School Massacre to Plead Guilty
The gunman who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Florida high school will plead guilty to their murders, his attorneys said.
4 min read
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education California Makes Ethnic Studies a High School Requirement
California is among the first in the nation to require students to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in 2029-30.
4 min read
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, Democratic Assembly members, from left, James Ramos, Chris Holden Jose Medina, and Rudy Salas, Jr., right, huddle during an Assembly session in Sacramento, Calif. Medina's bill to make ethnic studies a high school requirement was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Education California Requires Free Menstrual Products in Public Schools
The move comes as women’s rights advocates push nationwide for affordable access to pads, tampons, and other items.
1 min read
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif., on June 22, 2016. California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif., on June 22, 2016. California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP
Education Florida to Dock School District Salaries for Requiring Masks
Florida is set to dock salaries and withhold funding from local school districts that defied Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban on mask mandates.
2 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP