Chiera Testifies for School Security Session

Nicholas Pugliese, Gannett State House Bureau

Post armed first responders in schools. Upgrade security systems. Improve mental health services. Those were among the recommendations New Jersey lawmakers heard Thursday to improve school security in the wake of the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida.

That advice was dispensed by school officials, police officers, doctors and others at the first of three joint legislative hearings on the topic this month. The event, held in the Statehouse, also yielded a proposal that would allow districts to raise more money for upgrades and training.


“We need to look at lunch, assemblies, after-school programs when it’s not necessarily the school staff on site, dismissals, entering schools, all those situations,” said Donna Chiera, president of the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey.