Crisfield Comments on Proposed School Panic Button, Introduces Option for District
Millburn's Superintendent Dr. James Crisfield comments on the new bill proposed by Democratic Assemblyman Ralph Caputo to install panic buttons in schools; also suggests district option for increased safety.
As a step to increase student safety statewide, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-Belleville, introduced a bill last week that would require schools to install a silent panic alarm to alert police of a potential life-threatening emergency.
The Essex County assemblyman said that it makes sense to link a panic button from schools to local law enforcement.
Millburn's School District Superintendent Dr. James Crisfield agreed. He added, "If it enhances communication between schools and police I'd be in favor of doing it."
The bill comes almost a month after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., that left 26 dead, including 20 children. Following the event, many schools across Essex County have addressed the issue of their students' safety.
At Monday's Board of Education Meeting, Crisfield suggested an option to improve security district wide through reassigning funding from other projects.
He explained the district would re-turn the Middle School to restore the old entrance facing Short Hills. The moneys then originally allocated for remodelling the entrance could possibly be used for a district security officer or district security oordinator, Crisfield said.
"I feel like that is something we need," he said. "It's a work in progress, something that can get done over the next month."
Also in the meeting, Crisfield reviewed the dates in Decemeber students and teachers practiced Code Red Lockdowns, the schools' response to a possible life-threatening emergency.
Crisfield added, "After the tragedies in Connecticut we've reviewed all of our security protocols very carefully."