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Brick Schools Evaluate Security In Wake of CT Shooting

Security up Monday following deadly incident

Brick Township schools are re-evaluating their security protocols in the wake of a shooting at a Connecticut school that left 20 students dead.

The Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT left parents across the country on edge sending their children to school Monday, but plans for security to be beefed up in Brick were made over the weekend.

Superintendent Dr. Walter Uszenski said plainclothes police officers made visits to schools on Monday, and marked police cars patrolled school areas. Uszenski said he made the plans with Police Chief Nils R. Bergquist over the weekend, and more security measures are in place for the remainder of the week that will not be made public.

Uszenski said he also spoke with each school principal over the weekend, and made sure counselors were available throughout the district if needed.

But Uszenski said long-term plans for security will be paramount going forward, and he may request additional funding to perform some repairs in schools later this week when the Board of Education meets.

In some schools, he said, there are broken doors and malfunctioning locks.

"We have doors that you could kick down, and they need to be replaced immediately," Uszenski said. "This is something I wanted to start yesterday."

Uszenski said he will meet with Bergquist this week and go over the district's emergency plans. He also plans on forming security committees at each school.

He'll also propose giving certain staff members in each school walkie-talkies that connect directly to the police department for use in an emergency, from anywhere on schools grounds.

"In Connecticut, kids were saved by the actions of the teachers," said Uszenski. "They used the same drills we do."

Board President Sharon Cantillo proposed looking into providing more resources toward the mental health aspect of education.

"I think that, maybe, we need to devote more resources to our child study teams, guidance counselors and mental health professionals to identify problems when children are younger," said Cantillo.

"It needs to go beyond just the physical security," she said. "We need to think about that, because I think that was a large part of what happened in Connecticut, in Columbine and in every mass tragedy. People tend to bury that under the rug, but it's the elephant in the room."

Dennis December 18, 2012 at 03:55 PM
If you have someond bent on suicide for their end game, there will be casulaties no matter who or what is there. But an trained,armed administrator would limit the carnage.
Lifelongbrickresident December 18, 2012 at 04:23 PM
...and apparently with the classroom doors that automatically lock when shut, the kids are told to leave them open if going to the bathroom so that no one, teacher or student, has to be inconvenienced to let that student back in. Security will only work if the staff enforces it.
Keith December 18, 2012 at 04:26 PM
With my profession, I am in and out of schools often. When you ring the buzzer, they ask who you are and let you right in...always at every school! Parents need to be given a code to be presented at the entrance...if it is verified, they may proceed in and then to be verfied again with a valid ID. If you are an outside vendor, you must be met at the door and verified. There are electric door alarms that can be triggered immediately if any type of "Seal" is broken. These alarms can also be dis armed from inside if verified to be safe to disarm. The alarm signal can be sent right to the police. This still does not stop someone from getting in, but time is of the essance. Teachers can also be taught some self defense tactics that can be utilized such as a baton or bat. They may be able to thwart an entry into a classroom. All we can do is put in as many safe guards as possible and pray our kids are safe each day. It is sad to see that the Superintendant knew of weak points at door way entrances though.
Lifelongbrickresident December 18, 2012 at 04:31 PM
and in BMHS last year remember when someone posted here that the delivery guy was let in during a lockdown drill cuz he "couldn't wait"..
WMS826 December 18, 2012 at 04:49 PM
We need security inside the schools, not so much outside. Throw these bad kids out period. Let them be on their own if they refuse to behave. Then worry about the outside threats. The real threat is the kid who BELONGS there.
Ann December 18, 2012 at 05:29 PM
William, do you mean this kid Adam? Of all the reports I have read, they said he was quiet and very shy, not violent . Kids are not throw aways. I really feel you post your thoughts before you actually think about what you say. The real threat is GUNS!!!!!
Ann December 18, 2012 at 05:41 PM
William, the other threat is people who think like you !! Happy Holidays
Drew Meyer December 18, 2012 at 05:42 PM
You seem to have a real problem with kids. I remember your comment a few weeks ago alluding to the fact that Brick kids aren't equipped to work at Walmart. If you have such a problem with Brick schools and the kids that attend them, try and remember there are those of us that actually care about the well being of the kids, all of the kids. Keep your insults to yourself.
tuna stick December 18, 2012 at 05:43 PM
@JJJG, 2 armed officers sitting at a door wouldn't deter a gunman either. I realize it's hard to fathom, but we're not talking about rational people perpetrating these crimes.
Drew Meyer December 18, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Seriously? You want the cops to stop the kids from smoking? I'm sure with all of this going on it will be their top priority.
tuna stick December 18, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Please stand away from the computer.....you're not getting any smarter. And don't get involved. You are not capable of adding to the conversation.
jen December 18, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Sorry, but the real threat is NOT guns. Sure, high powered assault weapons should not be owned by private citizens....but regardless, a gun does not kill, a person does. This guy didn't just wake up one day and say to himself, hmmm my mom has a gun so I will go kill people. If he had no access to guns, maybe he would have made a bomb, poured gasoline and set a fire, or mowed people down with his car. Some guy in China just slashed school.children with a knife last week. It is not the weapon, it is the sick mind that kills. The mental health field does not do enough once a person is determined to have issues....this guy was assigned his own psychologist when he was in school because they knew he was 'off'. So, even if he didn't have a violent past....his issues manifested themselves into a deranged mindset which led to this. More needs to be done proactively once a child is determined to have mental issues. Just like we profile adults to thwart terrorism, we must profile kids to thwart these types of incidents
elkor December 18, 2012 at 06:29 PM
how about sandbags and .50 cals at the entrances as well seriously? what we need is common sense and responsibility not overreaction that leads us into whole other realms of insanity
elkor December 18, 2012 at 06:30 PM
+1 for tuna. Ann, get a grip
elkor December 18, 2012 at 06:34 PM
By that rationale, so do laws. Luckily this proverb is just not true. Locks do a lot provided the person responsible for said lock is... well, responsible.
Ann December 18, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Exactley my point, these weapons should not be owned by private citizens, but they are sold everyday just in that manner. The rifle he used is one of the most popular assault weapon sold. Gun sales went through the roof yesterday. They said this boy was odd, but not dangerous. His tech teacher was watching out for him for his own good, thinking he would be the one bullied.In this case, and in so many others...it was the weapon of choice they made him capable of killing so many. I agree the mental health field has failed so many miserably.
jen December 18, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Well, they did say that adults were concerned he would be bullied, but the news also reported that he would flip out in school and his mom would have to come and get him. Idk, I taught 1st grade for years, and I had a child here and there who had mental or emotional issues and I saw firsthand how lacking the interventions are. Someone exhibiting sociopathic behaviors needs more than to just meet with a counselor once or twice a week.
Ann December 18, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Tuna Stick, you are so smart and funny...I really enjoy reading your intelligent thoughts. Thank God you have a computer, you have made me smarter today. I never thought of putting two background checked volunteers to sit in a school and protect them from harm. My thought was maybe a uniformed guard, how dumb was I?
J.JONES December 18, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Here's my idea..cameras at all the entrances and retired police officers watching and patroling maybe 2 per. School..Also radios to supervisors in the schools to react to any problem . Everyone trained to react..
brickmom December 18, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Unfortunately, there will always be sick people out there. The 23 children in China all survived because the weapon was a knife not a gun.
Ann December 18, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Brick living, best idea I heard so far.
Daniel Nee (Editor) December 18, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Many of these ideas have been circulated. But as is always the case, there are financial considerations. Cameras + radios + the software/hardware to run the systems would mean a capital outlay, and two guards per school would mean 26 permanent salaries. That's not going to be easy to work into a school budget when the cap is considered.
WMS826 December 18, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Because guns just jump up and fire correct...no human needed...Please Ann, it is about personal accountability. this woman in CT was not resposnible having a kook son and her guns not locked up.
WMS826 December 18, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I too care, that is why I say throw the bad kids out and let the others learn in peace. Its personal accountability, we have lost that totally here in the states. Thank you Libs. Why should kids who are violent, and problematic remain..please tell me why.
WMS826 December 18, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Yes Ann Mery Christmas we say in America. You must be one of those "tolerant" libs who tolerates everyone who thinks like you and insult the rest. So inclusive is the bunch that you have respect for people who disagree with you. This is your America Ann, this is the results of what the libs have done the last thirty years. Why is America so violent Ann, I thought you Libs banned dodgeball years ago.
WMS826 December 18, 2012 at 10:59 PM
They already have this Ann, all except cops on premise during the day. perhaps we can pay for this too if we cut out the cash for clunker program, the back door Solyndra deals, and Obamas multi million dollar vacations while more and more are on welfare.
jen December 18, 2012 at 11:07 PM
It's all about priorities when it comes to where taxpayer dollars go. Maybe now school safety will be more important than other things the money usually goes toward.
brick mom 61 December 19, 2012 at 10:28 AM
Approximately 2 weeks ago, an adult male chased a couple of kids into Brick Memorial HS, and got far enough into the HS to stand in an interior stairwell while the kids were in the hall. No alarm was sounded, nothing was done except my daughter noticed police in the parking lot the next day. Apparently it was someone from Jersey Farms that was chasing kids that stole from the store. While I understand his anger, there is no way he should have gained access into the school like that. Also, kids leave and return frequently to the school and when I ask my daughter how students get back in, she said there are always dooors that are open. So the front door may be locked, but overall the security is terrible.
Sal Petoia December 19, 2012 at 03:56 PM
No one can dispute the massacre at Sandy Hook was a tragedy, but the reaction to blame the guns is an understandable albeit hysterical one. Making guns illegal would only mean that law abiding citizens would be deprived of having them. Criminals with evil intentions would still get them through a black market. Not usually reported by the media are many cases in America where guns in the hands of decent people have served to protect them and their families from those who would do them harm. Against unarmed people a perpetrator is free to kill and maim at will. Even if a person so disturbed and determined to carry out a mass killing did not have a gun, there are other ways to carry out the deed…. a firebomb tossed through a window, driving a vehicle through throngs of innocent people, etc. Airplanes were used as weapons to kill over 3000 people on 9/11, along with other attempts having been made. Should we ban airplanes? Trucks were used in the Oklahoma City and first World Trade Center bombings. Should we ban trucks? Trashing the Second Amendment would certainly please those who would like to see a disarming of the American people, but it will not prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook massacre from happening. Perhaps more at fault than guns is our culture of violence… television shows, video games and movies have all contributed to desensitizing people to violence. Add a lessening of moral values and we have the ingredients for catastrophic events.
WMS826 December 20, 2012 at 01:27 AM
And you're kids did what about this condition. Dd they say something, did they lock the doors....did you say something...did yo call or attend a board meeting. Maybe call the cops and school resource officer. Please...you cry about this but take no action,....I wag my finger in shame at you.

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