SENATE, No. 3726

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MAY 6, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator LORETTA WEINBERG

District 37 (Bergen)

Senator SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Bateman

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

Ensures student well-being during school security drills.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

As introduced.


An Act concerning school security drills and supplementing chapter 41 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

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

 

1. a. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a school district shall ensure that a school security drill that occurs when students are present:

(1) is conducted only after advance written notice has been provided to staff and the parents and guardians of enrolled students in the district that such a drill has been scheduled;

(2) includes clear messaging to students and staff that the event is a drill and that no current danger exists;

(3) does not expose students to content or imaging that is not developmentally or age-appropriate;

(4) is paired with trauma-informed approaches to address any student inquiries or concerns which may arise as a result of a school security drill;

(5) does not include the use of fake blood, real or prop firearms, or the simulations of gun shots, explosions, or other sounds or visuals that may induce panic or a traumatic response from a student or school district employee;

(6) does not require a student to role play as a victim, but may include first aid training in which students participate;

(7) does not include the presence of emergency personnel who are not typically present at the school during school hours; and

(8) is accessible to students with disabilities and mental health conditions, and provides all necessary accommodations for these students.

b. A school district may permit emergency personnel access to the buildings and grounds of its schools for school security drills that are scheduled outside of school hours and during such times as students are not present.

c. A school district shall review and update its school security drill procedures every three years using a process that collects input from emergency personnel, parents and guardians of students enrolled in the district, teachers and staff employed in the district, mental health professionals, and student government representatives from multiple grade levels.

d. A school district shall annually track data on the efficacy and the effects of the school security drills, including such measures and information as are required by the Commissioner of Education, and shall report the data to the commissioner.

 

2. This act shall take effect immediately.

STATEMENT

 

This bill requires that a school district must ensure that a school security drill that occurs when students are present:

         is conducted only after advance written notice has been provided to staff and the parents and guardians of enrolled students in the district that such a drill has been scheduled;

         includes clear messaging to students and staff that the event is a drill and that no current danger exists;

         does not expose students to content or imaging that is not developmentally or age-appropriate;

         is paired with trauma-informed approaches to address any student inquiries or concerns which may arise as a result of a school security drill;

         does not include the use of fake blood, real or prop firearms, or the simulations of gun shots, explosions, or other sounds or visuals that may induce panic or a traumatic response from a student or school district employee;

         does not require a student to role play as a victim, but may include first aid training in which students participate;

         does not include the presence of emergency personnel who are not typically present at the school during school hours; and

         is accessible to students with disabilities and mental health conditions, and provides all necessary accommodations for these students.

The bill provides that a school district may permit emergency personnel access to the buildings and grounds of its schools for school security drills that are scheduled outside of school hours and during such times as students are not present.

Under the bill, a school district must review and update its school security drill procedures every three years using a process that collects input from emergency personnel, parents and guardians of students enrolled in the district, teachers and staff employed in the district, mental health professionals, and student government representatives from multiple grade levels.

Finally, a school district must annually track data on the efficacy and the effects of the school security drills, including such measures and information as are required by the Commissioner of Education, and must report the data to the commissioner.