Two North Jersey school districts combined to receive nearly $800,000 in federal grants to improve safety measures.
The Teaneck School District was awarded $500,000 and the Bogota School District $277,000 to improve security measures and keep students and teachers safe. The grant was administered through the Justice Department’s School Violence Prevention Program, which was enacted by Congress in the wake of the Parkland school shooting in 2018.
“I can imagine no better return on investment than bringing our federal tax dollars back home to help protect our kids and support our law enforcement,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer.
Teaneck will use the award to upgrade and install card access control devices, CCTV monitoring cameras, building alarms, and visitor management systems.
“We fought hard to secure this funding and I am thrilled the Teaneck School District received this award because it will help protect our students and teachers,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell. “Students should be able to focus on history and mathematics without fearing for their safety. With this federal grant, Teaneck can implement rigorous safety and prevention measures to provide its students, parents, and teachers with the peace of mind they deserve. “
“While the current pandemic has upended the traditional school year, today’s federal grant will help ensure that students are protected when they eventually return to the classroom,” stated Pascrell, a former history teacher.
Safe Learning Environment
Dr. Christopher Irving, Superintendent of Teaneck Schools said creating a safe learning environment for students and staff is a top priority for his school district in thanking Pascrell and Gottheimer for helping to secure this federal grant.
“This grant will enable us to improve the overall safety, security and health of our schools by upgrading and installing 21st century equipment,” said Irving.
“We continue to see far too many heartbreaking tragedies take place in our nation’s schools,” said Gottheimer. “This federal investment being clawed back from Washington to help Teaneck is a vital step to keeping our students and faculty safe on school grounds, protecting our children against gun violence, supporting Teaneck’s law enforcement as they work day in and day out to protect the community, and helping them do their job safely and effectively,”
Separately, Gottheimer announced the Bogota School District was award $277,000 in federal investment to improve security measures. The funding will be used on major upgrades for camera and communication systems, in addition to visitor screening technology and procedural control upgrades. Anonymous reporting management, screening technology, and other security equipment were planned as well.
Previously, the school district computerized exterior key entry, and established automatic police notification systems. Special Law Enforcement Officer personnel were hired for all buildings.
“Hopefully in a few months, we will begin returning to normal, we’ll get through this crisis and begin to recover, and we’ll have classes in person and students can finally be reunited with their teachers, a vital goal that I know we all share,” said ,” said Gottheimer. “That is why we cannot risk taking our eyes off the prize in protecting our children in the one place outside their home where they should feel safest: their school.”
“These are all vital steps to make sure the tragedies that have befallen schools and communities all across the nation, don’t happen right here,” said the second term congressman.
The announcements built upon the work Gottheimer had done regarding the issuing, including the introduction of the Alyssa’s Legacy Youth in Schools Safety Alert (ALYSSA) Act, in memory of Parkland shooting victim Alyssa Alhadeff, whose family lived in Woodcliff Lake, NJ before moving to Parkland.