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Colts Neck Schools Ensure Security After CT Shooting

Counselors and teachers are not initiating conversations about the shooting.

In light of the tragic school shooting in Newton, CT, schools around the country are left looking at their own security policies and attempting to answer the questions that surround the horrific event.

In Colts Neck, parents, teachers and administration sent messages over the weekend ensuring the safety of children and with guidelines for talking to children about tragedy.

In an email sent to parents, Tricia Barr, Principal of Conover Road Primary School ensured the safety of students is always of the highest priority.

Colts Neck K-8 schools practice detailed emergency drills monthly and doors to the schools remain locked during school hours.

Jim Osmond, Principal of Conover Road Elementary said in an email to parents that the school now has a security committee, formed when Osmond arrived as principal which reviews procedures and works with teachers and staff in training.

"Our plans are well thought out, detailed, and comprehensive. Moving forward, we will continue to do everything possible to keep our students and staff safe," Osmond said.

Superintendent Dr. Fred Oberkehr said the township regularly works with law enforcement to prepare for emergency situations.

"We run our safety and security drills each month, and we have had OEM come in and conduct those drills with is," he said, adding that each drill is followed by a debriefing and suggested improvements are made.

"Our buildings are all locked," Oberkehr said. "We work very closely with law enforcement to ensure the schools are safe and secure."

The township did not add patrols in schools after Friday's tragedy, nor does it had officers in the schools on a daily basis. Oberkehr said the conversation has begun.

"Right now, that's not something I can turn around in two days and say we have," the Superintendent said. 

Conversations with the finance committee, during the development of next year's budget and with the chief of police must happen first, he added.

"I think we do our very best to try to make sure everyone, including the teachers, administation, faculty, staff and students are as safe as possible."

For now, the Colts Neck school community is attempting to give students a sense of normalcy into the holidays.

"For the week ahead, it remains our intention to fill our days with wonderful events that celebrate the joy and excitement associated with the holiday season," said Barr. "You can bet that as a school community, we will revel in our student’s laughter and find extra delight in their beautiful innocence."

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