A month after the Newtown school shooting rocked the nation; residents are still weighing in on gun control and school safety.
In many Monmouth County towns, schools are working with their police forces to ensure safety. In response to updates from Patch editors, readers are commenting that schools need more protection and using outlets on Patch to express their concerns and as a way to call others residents to action.
Marlboro made headlines earlier this month, when armed officers became a visible site in all Marlboro schools. In an article from Marlboro-Colts Neck Patch, the Marlboro Board of Education said that the decision to temporarily place officers in every school would cost the district an estimated $100,000 for 90 days.
At last week's public hearing on school security within the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District, Superintendent John J. Marciante, Jr. said that he is against having armed officers in district schools because research shows that a higher increase in violence at schools with armed guards.
"It is not the simple answer that everyone wants it to be," Marciante said. "Strong associations out there with data do not support [armed guards in schools] as the right way to go. . . there is lots of research out there that does not support it as the best solution to this problem. If it was the solution, I'm sure everyone would be doing it. It's not the solution."
Several parents at the meeting told the Board of Education that they felt armed guards were needed within the school buildings.
Marciante said that the ultimate decision of having armed officers in schools falls on the Board of Education, but that is something that he would not recommend to them.
The Freehold Regional High School District (FRHSD) has always had unarmed security guards in schools. In the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn. shooting, FRHSD Superintendent Charles Sampson said at a Board of Education meeting that the use of personnel was evaluated, including the deployment of school security officers and the utilization of teachers on duty periods.
New changes to the security of the buildings include the installation of buzzer systems with cameras and having security guards man the areas by the entrance of the high school and at the delivery areas of the building.
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