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Wilson & Johnson Bill To Create Task Force Charged with Studying & Developing Recommendations to Make NJ Schools Safer Clears Assembly Panel
(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gilbert "Whip" L. Wilson (D-Camden/Gloucester) and Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) to create a task force charged with making recommendations to improve security and makes schools safer was approved Wednesday by an Assembly committee.
"The Newtown shooting showed us that evil can strike anywhere, even in a school filled with small, defenseless children," said Wilson. "This bill helps ensure a safe and secure learning environment for students and staff members by creating a special task force charged with developing strategies that will help address school safety issues and hopefully prevent another senseless tragedy."
"It is heartbreaking that parents must now worry about the possibility of a violent attack when they send their children off to school," said Johnson. "The Newtown shooting made it terrifyingly clear that a deranged individual has no limits. Identifying security flaws and implementing proven security measures to make our schools safer must be part of any effort to curb gun violence."
The bill is part of the Assembly Democratic gun violence prevention package.
The bill (A3583-1613) establishes a 15-member School Security Task Force to study and develop recommendations for improving school security and safety, and ensuring a safe learning environment for students and school employees. The task force is to be comprised of: the Commissioner of Education; the Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness; the Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority; two members of the Senate and two members of the General Assembly; four members appointed by the Governor, including a representative of the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials; a representative of the New Jersey Education Association; a representative of the New Jersey School Boards Association; a representative of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association; and four members of the public, two appointed by the Governor, one appointed by the Senate president, and one appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly. The four public members must have demonstrated expertise in the development or implementation of school security standards or technology.
The task force is charged with identifying physical and cyber vulnerabilities and potential breaches of security in the public schools, and making appropriate recommendations to improve school security. The task force will study issues including, but not limited to:
The bill was released 10-0 by the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee.
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