Aiming to protect New Jersey’s students from unanticipated dangerous or violent activities, Assembly Democrats Linda Carter, Anthony Verrelli and Raj Mukherji sponsor a bill that would allow members of the public to anonymously report threats to New Jersey’s schools. The Assembly Education Committee voted to advance the bill on Monday.
Under the bill (A-180), the Attorney General of New Jersey would be required to establish a program for students, parents and school staff to anonymously report unsafe, potentially harmful, dangerous, violent or criminal threats to the school community. Information would be reported through a tip line or app and shared with appropriate law enforcement agencies or school officials.
The Attorney General would also be required to provide training to law enforcement dispatch centers, school districts and private schools. An annual report on the program would be submitted to the Governor and the Legislature outlining the number, dates and times of reported incidents. The report would also include any misuses of the program and a summary of the outcomes and action taken on reports made to the program.
Upon committee approval of the bill, Assembly sponsors Carter (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union), Verrelli (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) and Mukherji (D-Hudson) issued the following joint statement:
“The purpose of this bill is to learn about threats to our schools and intervene before something unthinkable happens. Students, their parents and teachers have valuable insight as to what goes on in their school communities, and this program will allow them to speak up about any threats they may have information about without fear of repercussions. By receiving these anonymous tips, law enforcement officers will be able to quickly assess and respond.”