The city’s school district received a $250,000 federal grant to strengthen school security measures, announced congressman Bill Pascrell.
Funds from the U.S. Justice Department’s STOP School Violence Program will help Paterson acquire new technology and create a program that will let school officials better respond to potential threats and improve the process of anonymously reporting suspicious activity.
“We fought vigorously to secure this funding for our students and I am thrilled we succeeded because it will literally save lives,” Pascrell, a former history teacher, said on Wednesday. “The classroom should be about history and mathematics, not fearing for your safety or practicing active shooter drills.”
Pascrell accused the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Republicans of “foster violence in our schools.”
“Our teachers, students, administrators, parents, and board members have made significant progress in creating safer environments and more success-oriented climates in our schools. This funding will help the district face its daily challenges and keep them from affecting students and staff inside the schools. We look forward to the work of this grant, which is assessing our school climates and developing strategies to enhance learning environments altogether,” superintendent Eileen Shafer said.