Video Series: NJSBA’s Education Matters: Conversations on School Security
“Conversations on School Security,” contains important information for school board members, administrators, and all district staff members who play a role in school safety including, but not limited to, teachers, school resource officers, school security guards, facilities managers and parents.
- The School Resource Officer In its 2014 report, What Makes Schools Safe?, 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 category of Class III Special Law Enforcement Officer, 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, superintendent of the Ocean City Public Schools, 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 student’s emotional needs is also critical. Ocean City Public Schools Superintendent Kathleen Taylor continues the discussion on the importance of school climate.
Task Force Reports
What Makes Schools Safe?, the final report of the NJSBA School Security Task Force, is the culmination of a year’s work to inform the discussion of school safety and security. The report and its 45 recommendations should be viewed as a resource to help determine further federal, state and local action to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of our students. View NJSBA’s School Security Task Force page online.
Review the July 2015 New Jersey Task Force report online.
School Security in the News
The NJSBA Delegate Assembly on Saturday, May 20 approved an expanded policy on school security, calling for “meaningful and uniform laws governing access to firearms” across the country, including stringent background checks. The policy also calls for state and federal funding for school security enhancements and “inter-agency collaboration” to improve delivery of mental health services. Read more.
The May/June 2018 issue of School Leader magazine features a special section on school security. Articles include:
Keeping students and staff members safe in our schools is a district’s top priority. Perhaps the most effective tool for that is a strong working relationship between the school district and the local police department.
The Maple Shade Township school district and police department have fostered a strong partnership which has led to some best practices in school security. This partnership is steered by Maple Shade Superintendent Beth Norcia and Chief of Police Gary Gubbei, who is also the president of the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police. Both joined NJSBA’s Ray Pinney on BlogTalkRadio for a conversation on school security. The broadcast was recorded live on April 30, but listeners can access the recorded program online.