The purpose of this communication is to maintain open lines of communication regarding issues of school security. Past incidents of school violence across the nation serve as an unfortunate but important reminder that all schools should remain vigilant about reporting suspicious activity to their municipal police department. Local authorities will then immediately notify the County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP), which will immediately share such reports with the FBI.
This statewide information-sharing process known as SARs (Suspicious Activity Reporting) has been mandated by a New Jersey Attorney General Directive, which states that all Chief Law Enforcement Executives shall report suspicious activities to better reflect the current threat landscape, including threats of violence to schools or other criminal activity related to terrorism. An in-depth analysis on the changing trends in threats and tactics affecting New Jersey schools revealed that social media remains a pervasive method used by some juveniles and students to convey school threats.
Any threats of violence should be immediately reported, will be taken seriously, and addressed appropriately. Parents/guardians should be aware of the rise in school-related threats nationwide, and both parents/guardians and students must accept that school threats – whether communicated through social media posts, “jokes,” or drawings – will not be tolerated. Consequences of these actions may include measures such as:
1. Suspension from school and all school-related activities
2. Notification of the allegation to the local police department
3. A search of the student’s residence
4. Criminal charges
As a reminder, suspicious activity, specifically threats of violence to schools or other criminal activity related to terrorism, should be reported immediately, per existing protocols. Activity can also be reported 24/7 to NJOHSP’s CTWatch at 866-4SAFENJ (866-472-3365) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott T. McCue
Superintendent of Schools