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New Law Requires Schools to Create Threat Assessment Teams, Identify Students

New Jersey schools must create threat assessment teams, identifying students who may pose a risk of violence or other harm

The teams will be responsible for identifying students who pose a risk of violence or other harm. (New Jersey Monitor)

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New Jersey school districts must create threat assessment teams intended to stop mass shootings before they happen under a bill Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law Monday.

The teams will be responsible for identifying students who pose a risk of violence or other harm and will also be tasked with assessing a given student’s risk and providing strategies to reduce the same.

“It is my hope that these threat assessment teams will help students and school employees feel safe and out of harm’s way when they are at school, and for students who are considered to be a threat to receive the much-needed help they need at such a crucial time in their lives,” Murphy said in a statement.

The broadly bipartisan bill, which passed unanimously in both legislative chambers, also requires charter and renaissance school boards to create threat assessment teams.

The teams must include a teacher, senior administrator, school resource officer, safety specialist, and psychologist or counselor.

It’s a bid to stop school shootings like the one that upended lives in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman killed 21 and injured 16 others in May.

“I really, truly believe that if we focus on students that are in crisis before they cause harm to themselves or others, we can be the most impactful,” Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden), a sponsor and chair of the chamber’s Education Committee, said in a statement.

New Jersey Monitor is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. New Jersey Monitor maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Terrence McDonald for questions: info@newjerseymonitor.com. Follow New Jersey Monitor on Facebook and Twitter.

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