SENATE, No. 2438

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 27, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.

District 18 (Middlesex)

Senator  DAWN MARIE ADDIEGO

District 8 (Atlantic, Burlington and Camden)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Beach, Beck, Gordon, Greenstein and Pou

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires annual school security training for school employees to be conducted collaboratively with emergency responders; requires law enforcement officer to annually attend at least one school security drill.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning school security and amending N.J.S.18A:41-1 and P.L.2009, c.178.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    N.J.S.18A:41-1 is amended to read as follows:

     18A:41-1.   Every principal of a school of two or more rooms, or of a school of one room, when located above the first story of a building, shall have at least one fire drill and one school security drill each month within the school hours, including any summer months during which the school is open for instructional programs, and shall require all teachers of all schools, whether occupying buildings of one or more stories, to keep all doors and exits of their respective rooms and buildings unlocked during the school hours, except during an emergency lockdown or an emergency lockdown drill.  Where school buildings have been provided with fire escapes, they shall be used by a part or all of the pupils performing every fire drill.  An actual fire or school security emergency that occurs at a school during the month and that includes activities which are the equivalent of a drill shall be considered a drill for the purposes of meeting the requirements of this section.

     A law enforcement officer shall be present at a minimum of one school security drill in each school year in order to make recommendations on any improvements or changes to school security drill procedures that the officer may deem advisable.

(cf:  P.L.2009, c.178, s.4)

 

     2.    Section 1 of P.L.2009, c.178 (C.18A:41-6) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    As used in this act:

     "School security drill" means an exercise, other than a fire drill, to practice procedures that respond to an emergency situation including, but not limited to, a bomb threat, non-fire evacuation, lockdown, or active shooter situation and that is similar in duration to a fire drill.

(cf:  P.L.2009, c.178, s.1)

 

     3.    Section 2 of P.L.2009, c.178 (C.18A:41-7) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    A local board of education and chief school administrator of a nonpublic school shall ensure that all full-time [teaching staff members] employees in the district or nonpublic school are provided with training on school safety and security that includes instruction on school security drills.  The training shall use the drill guide and training materials prepared pursuant to section 3 of P.L.2009, c.178 (C.App.A:9-86) and shall utilize various formats such as drills, functional exercises, and tabletop exercises. The annual training provided to employees shall be conducted collaboratively by the district or nonpublic school and emergency responders, including law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services personnel, in order to identify weaknesses in school safety and security policies and procedures and to increase the effectiveness of emergency responders. [Each teaching staff member shall be provided with the training within one year of the effective date of this act or within 60 days of the commencement of that staff member's employment, whichever date is later.]

(cf:  P.L.2009, c.178, s.2)

 

     4.    This act shall take effect in the first full school year following the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill revises current law on school security drills. The bill provides that all employees in school districts and nonpublic schools will be provided with annual training on school safety and security. Under current law such training is only provided once to certificated staff members. The bill also provides that the training will be conducted collaboratively by the district or nonpublic school and emergency responders in order to identify weaknesses in school safety and security procedures and to increase the effectiveness of emergency responders.

     The bill requires that a law enforcement officer be present at a minimum of one school security drill in each school year in order to make recommendations on any improvements or changes to school security drill procedures that the officer may deem advisable.

     Finally, the bill stipulates that an actual fire or school security emergency that occurs at a school during the month and that includes activities which are the equivalent of a drill, will be considered a drill for the purposes of meeting the required number of monthly drills.

     This bill implements recommendations #6 and 22 of the July, 2015 report of the New Jersey School Security Task Force.