MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Extra police are on hand Friday at schools in Mahwah after an alleged threat was made against a school months ago.
Armed police officers and a police dog were seen standing guard outside Ramapo Ridge Middle School Friday in attempt to reassure the community, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
But Mahwah resident David Rosenstein says there needs to be a more permanent fix to keep schools safe.
“They’re not gonna be there forever,” he said. “They gotta come up with a better solution.”
School officials say an eighth grader was accused of making a threat against the school back in October, allegedly specifying Friday’s date. The alleged threat was later found to be unconfirmed and unsubstantiated, officials said earlier this week.
“I want you to know that I am sure our police department has done absolutely everything to assure the safety of our children,” Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet said Tuesday.
After last week’s deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida, keeping students safe in school has become an even more critical conversation.
President Donald Trump has discussed the idea of arming some trained school staff members and teachers with guns.
“I think we need hardened sites,” he said Thursday. “We need to let people know you come into our schools, you’re gonna be dead and it’s gonna be fast.”
On Friday, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill rejected the proposal.
“It’s not a good idea,”he said. “The teachers have to teach. We are in law enforcement. We are here to protect people and to keep people safe.”
But it’s already happening in other parts of the country. In Colorado, about 100 specially trained staff members volunteer to carry firearms. Science teacher Karl Donnelson says he keeps one concealed in his cowboy boot.
“We can’t afford security guards and if teachers are willing go through the training, I think they should have the opportunity to protect them,” he said.
Thursday night in Newark, parents, teachers and administrators came together to discuss options.
“We send them every morning to learn and be educated, not to face all this danger that’s going on,” said parent Ada Cintron.”Guns are not the answer,” said principal Patricia Gois.
“At any given moment a teacher could have a bad day,” said parent Lisette Tapia.
“It’s hard to have a child walk into a school where they see guns,” said parent Ariagna Perello.
Officials said the student allegedly behind the threat in Mahwah had other issues and has been suspended for at least the remainder of the school year.