NJSBA Task Force Reports

  • An updated report highlighting findings and insights from an NJSBA study, What Makes Schools Safe? The report includes 15 additional recommendations on response and recovery, law enforcement in schools, cybersecurity, after-school security, and more.
  • The report of NJSBA’s Task Force on Mental Health Services in the Public Schools, Building a Foundation for Hope provides more than 70 recommendations, along with guidance and best practices.
  • Final Report from the NJSBA Firearms Safety Task Force: Processes, Programs and Practices for Safety in School, Home and Community  The report discusses the impact of children’s exposure to violence; effective strategies to protect children from accidental injury; safe gun storage, handling and use; and school- and community-based partnerships that address students’ mental and emotional health and help them overcome trauma and defuse conflict.

School Safety in the News

School Board Notes: Legislative Update: Mental Health and School Security Measures Advance (6/14/2022)

School Leader
Magazine: School Security Roundtable (Spring 2022)

School Leader Magazine: Special Section on School Security (May/June 2018)

Articles include:

General Resources

American School Counselor Association: webinars, guidelines, tips, videos and additional resources.

Center For Resilience + Well-Being in Schools, University of Colorado Boulder

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

  • After the Injury — a website for families with injured children, which includes ways to help children recover.

Dylan’s Wings of Change, a nonprofit foundation named after a child who died in the Sandy Hook, Connecticut shooting offers youth-led social-emotional learning programs for children and professional development for adults.

Grief Counseling

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network:

Coping After Mass Violence: for Adults.

Moms Demand Action, Community-led services for survivors of gun violence.

National Association of School Psychologists, Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers.

National Education Association, School Crisis Guide, a step-by-step outline of what to do before, during and after any school or community crisis.

The National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center

National Alliance on Mental Illness, one-on-one helpline 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. (800) 950-NAMI (6264) or helpline@nami.org.

Navigating A Mental Health Crisis, a downloadable guide available in English and Spanish. The guide outlines what can contribute to a crisis, warning signs, strategies to de-escalate, etc.

National School Safety Center, handouts and information concerning schools and terrorism, schools and readiness.

News stories:

Sandy Hook Promise, The Learning Center

  • Start with Hello, grades K-12, free activities and curriculum to teach students to be more socially inclusive and connected to each other to end social isolation.
  • Say Something, grades 4-12, in four out of five school shootings, the attacker told people of their plans ahead of time. This program provides a social-emotional learning curriculum, instruction, and programming to build essential SEL competencies.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services AdministrationDisaster Distress Helpline – call or text 1-800-985-5990 (for Spanish, press “2”) to be connected to a trained counselor 24/7/365.

Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth, funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, this organization offers coordinators who work within their counties to develop and/or Lead Response Teams or support an existing one. Training is also offered, including suicide awareness training for educators and post-traumatic stress management for school crisis teams.

 The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: A handout that provides tips on how to respond and help students cope with tragedy.

Video Series: NJSBA’s Education Matters: Conversations on School Security

Conversations on School Security” contains important information for all school leaders and district staff members who play a role in school safety.

The School Resource Officer

The NJSBA School Security Task Force identified the School Resource Officer (SRO) as the “preferred” model for a law enforcement presence in schools. In this video, Gary Gubbie, Maple Shade Township police chief and president of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, discusses the role of the SRO.

Police and Schools: Building a Collaborative Relationship

A strong relationship between the school district and local law enforcement is essential to ensuring student safety. Steve Forte, Denville Public Schools superintendent, and Chris Wagner, Denville police chief, discuss ways to build an effective relationship.

Security Staffing: Options for School Districts

Law enforcement presence in schools can include a School Resource Officer and Class II or Class III Special Law Enforcement Officers. Denville Public Schools Superintendent Steve Forte and the township’s police chief, Chris Wagner, address the various types of law enforcement officers who provide services in schools.

Administrators: Looking at Schools with an Eye Toward Security

Traditionally, school administrators look at school buildings with an eye toward learning. But today they also focus on security and student safety. John Niesz, Keansburg Public Schools superintendent, discusses the administrator’s security vantage point.

Police as Part of the School Community

How do SROs or other school law enforcement officers become part of the learning environment? Gary Gubbie, Maple Shade chief of police and president of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, explains the process.

What is a Class III Officer?

A 2016 statute created the new Class III Special Law Enforcement Officer category, giving school districts another option for security personnel. In this video, the president of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, Gary Gubbie, addresses the role and responsibilities of the Class III officer.

Social-Emotional Character Development

A safe and secure school requires staff professional development and personnel centered on students’ social-emotional needs. In this video, Kathleen Taylor, the Ocean City Public Schools superintendent, discusses the importance of school climate.

Security Starts with the Students

Often, conversations about security focus on the building layout, equipment, and law enforcement. However, addressing a student’s emotional needs is also critical. Ocean City Public Schools Superintendent Kathleen Taylor continues the discussion on the importance of school climate.