Are your children safe in New Jersey's classrooms?

Flickr user: knittymarie

In the wake of the horrific school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, the chairman of the Assembly Education Committee is scrambling to convene a hearing to get answers from experts regarding school security and safety measures.

Assemblyman Pat Diegnan was hoping to hold his hearing tomorrow, but scheduling conflicts made it impossible for him to get everyone he wants involved.

What Would Make Schools Safer?

Diegnan is hoping to line up officials from the Department of Education, the State Attorney General's Office, Homeland Security and the State Police.

"I really want to just pursue some common sense, for lack of a better word, fixes that we can put in place expeditiously," explains Diegnan. "I was speaking to a security person the other day who told me that every school should be retro-fitted so you cannot get direct access to the classrooms upon entering the school. It was his recommendation that a wall or doors be put up and you'd have to go through a second entrance. Another person suggested to me that there should be only one point of entrance and exit in any school during the school day."

Diegnan says there are many theories about making schools safer and he'd simply like to ask experts which statewide approaches might or might not work. He thinks while things can be done in the future to make new schools safer before they're built, in the meantime he's hoping some progress can be made now.

"When you drop off your son or daughter in the morning you expect them to be going to a safe place and let's make it as safe as we can," says Diegnan. "School safety and security is now going to be a consideration which we never had before to this extent, but I think we can immediately put in place common sense, inexpensive solutions to make our schools safer."