The Senate Education Committee and the Assembly Education Committee will host three joint meetings in April to hear testimony from invited guests, as well as members of the public, on issues related to school security. The first will take place at the State House in Trenton. The committees have also scheduled one hearing in both the northern and southern region of the state.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis that has affected many of our communities for far too long,” said Senate Education Committee Chair M. Teresa Ruiz (Dist. 29) in a press release announcing the hearings last week. “In New Jersey, we commit ourselves to protecting our most precious state resources — our children and our teachers — with comprehensive proactive measures that include safety protocols ranging from mental health awareness to structural building improvements. I look forward to these hearings to gather the best ideas, and craft procedures, programs and preventive measures to keep our children and their educators safe.”
Assembly Education Committee Chair Pamela Lampitt (Dist. 6) said “the issue of school security has never been more pressing.
“Children should not fear going to school,” Lampitt said. “We want to hear not just from experts, but from teachers and school administrators as well as parents and students, about what we can do to enhance security at our schools. It has been inspiring to see so many young people focused and undeterred as they rally for change. We owe it to them to do what we can to provide a safe learning environment.”
The joint committee will meet at the following locations on the following dates:
- Thursday, April 5 at 10 a.m. in Committee Room 4, 1st Floor, State House Annex, Trenton, NJ (Invited Speakers Only.)
- Monday, April 9 at 3 p.m. at Camden County College, William G. Rohrer Center, 1889 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill, NJ (Open to Public.)
- Monday, April 23 at 3 p.m. at Rutgers University-Newark, Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd, Newark, NJ (Open to Public.)
At the April 5 meeting at the State House, the joint committee will hear testimony from invited guests only. However, members of the public are welcome to attend. The New Jersey School Boards Association has accepted an invitation to testify.
Students, parents and other members of the public are invited to share their thoughts and recommendations on school security at the April 9 and April 23 public hearings. Individuals wishing to testify at either the Cherry Hill or Newark hearing can register by calling the Office of Legislative Services at (609) 847-3850.