The Monmouth County Assemblywomen announced legislation to assist with Neptune City School District's essential safety and security needs. Assembly Bill 4776 authorizes a supplemental appropriation of $470,000 from the Property Tax Relief Fund to the Department of Education for school safety and critical infrastructure requirements for Woodrow Wilson Elementary school.
A majority of the funds will be used to purchase and install 12 bollards to stop vehicles from driving on the property and hitting students or entering the doorways, two chain link fences for teachers parking with two "No trespassing" signs, video surveillance cameras along the interior and exterior of the school, and protective window film for all entered doors and main office doors.
An appropriation was requested after several reported instances of students and teachers being left subject to unsafe conditions resulting in security concerns. "A safe learning environment is paramount to educating our children in today's society," said the Office of the Neptune City Police Chief. "Therefore, ensuring that Woodrow Wilson School provides an encouraging, secure and positive learning environment is of the utmost importance."
Additional capital was also requested to install a mantrap security booth, fencing, and 400 feet of privacy screening around the school's perimeter. "When it comes to protecting the lives of Woodrow Wilson Elementary students as well as ensuring the safety of our Neptune City teachers and staff - there should be no hesitation whatsoever from the State in reallocating these funds," said Neptune City Council President Brian Thomas.
"We need to be able to give WWES parents and families the assurances they rightfully deserve, that everything is being done to safeguard their children from harm while in the classroom. I call on the Legislature to hear this appropriation as soon as possible and help fulfill their obligation to our community."
The bill was introduced on October 14 and has since been referred to the Assembly Education committee. Piperno and Eulner say they look forward to advocating for a committee hearing on the matter and its passage. "Without the much-needed safety and critical infrastructure equipment, we obstruct Woodrow Wilson Elementary's' students'' potential for a quality and safe educational environment."