Jan 11, 2022

Governor Murphy Signs New Law for School Security Drills

By Christopher Sedefian, Esq.

Governor Murphy signed Assembly Bill No. 5727 into law yesterday, codified as P.L.2021, c.365, requiring “the following guidance and procedures for school districts conducting school security drills when students are present:

  • Drills will include clear, developmentally, and age-appropriate messaging to students and staff at the conclusion of the drill that the event is a drill and no current danger exists;

  • Drills cannot include the use of fake blood, real or prop firearms, or the simulations of gunshots, explosions, or other sounds or visuals that may induce panic or a traumatic response from a student or school district employee;

  • Drills must be accessible to students with disabilities and mental health conditions, and provide all necessary accommodations for these students;

  • School districts shall provide written notification to the parent or guardian of a student enrolled in the district following completion of a school security drill, which notice shall be provided to the parent or guardian by no later than the end of the school day on which the school security drill is conducted;

  • School districts may permit emergency personnel access to the buildings and grounds of its schools for school security drills that are scheduled outside of school hours and during such times as students are not present;

  • Districts shall review and update their school security drill procedures using a process that coincides with the review of the school safety and security plan developed pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.1 and collect input from emergency personnel, parents, and guardians of students enrolled in the district, teachers and staff employed in the district, mental health professionals, and student government representatives from multiple grade levels; and

Accordingly, we recommend that school districts review their current security drill procedures to verify that they are acting in compliance with the law.

For more information on this Legal Alert or related issues, or for assistance in complying with these new legal requirements, please contact the labor and education attorneys at Schenck Price.

DISCLAIMER: This Alert is designed to keep you aware of recent developments in the law. It is not intended to be legal advice, which can only be given after the attorney understands the facts of a particular matter and the goals of the client.