Friday, June 5, 2015

Town Hall Meeting Regarding School Safety Coming to Maplewood Middle School

Maplewood, New Jersey: Officials with the South Orange Maplewood School District and the Township of Maplewood have announced that a town hall meeting regarding school safety will be held in Maplewood Middle School's auditorium on Monday, June 8th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. According to the Township of Maplewood, community officials will join parents and community members to discuss "ensuring a safe and positive climate in our schools, ways to protect our children from guns and other threats of violence, and supporting students in times of crisis".

The announcement comes after an online petition was created by a Maplewood resident to ask the district to hold an assembly regarding gun control. 

Two students at South Orange Maplewood School District schools were arrested this week on weapons charges. On Wednesday, a 7th grade student at Maplewood Middle School allegedly brought a loaded firearm to school, causing a code red lockdown. On Thursday, a 9th grade student at Columbia High School allegedly was in possession of an airsoft gun and a kitchen knife. The arrest at Columbia High School came after several days of fighting on and off school property among groups of students. Both students are being held at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center in Newark's Central Ward, and according to school officials, will not be returning to the South Orange Maplewood School District.

At Columbia High School on Friday, there was a small presence of Maplewood Police officers, and several school administrators stood outside of the school. Principal Elizabeth Aaron announced to students that she was "very appreciative of so many of you making good decisions", and that the recent activities at the school were caused by "decisions made by a very small number of people". 

Before dismissal on Friday, Aaron thanked students for a "terrific day". Several Maplewood Police officers were present outside of the school following dismissal.

'No parking' signs were posted by police officers along Parker Avenue near Columbia High School on Friday. Maplewood Police officers usually post 'no parking' signs following the arrest of a student or teacher.

Maplewood Middle School is located at 7 Burnet Street, across Baker Street from the Maplewood Memorial Library.

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