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Livingston ‘Did Everything Right’ When NBC Reporter Made Surprise School Safety Investigation Last Week

Jackie Schatell

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 • 2:21am

LIVINGSTON, NJ - At Monday’s Board of Education meeting, Superintendent John Alfieri said that on Dec. 5, a reporter for NBC made an unannounced visit to Mt. Pleasant Middle School as part of a story on school safety for the one-year anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. A number of schools in Essex County were also visited.

Alfieri said that instead of reporting to the main office, which is standard protocol, the reporter proceeded in the direction opposite the main office.

Immediately, upon seeing the visitor, an office staff member confronted him for not reporting to the main office. The visitor then identified himself as a reporter, and requested a meeting with the principal.

The reporter said that he was doing a news story about school safety. He then provided a driver’s license and contact information to the office staff, prior to exiting the building.

“Livingston was one of the schools that did everything right,” he said.

Alfieri said, “In Livingston, we have made security a top priority and are always looking at ways to make schools a safe place for our children. Livingston Public Schools are committed to providing a safe environment for learning. Unfortunately, events like last year’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn., remind us why we go to such lengths.”

“Our schools are equipped with security cameras and buzz-in systems,” added Alfieri. “Police officers are in our buildings for daily walk-throughs for general safety checks, and are present during the monthly drills.”

A school official said that Livingston recently increased spending for security upgrades, including additional video surveillance at all schools, and hired an expert—Matthew DeLaRosa,  whose work includes safety management, to help us provide even more training and make sure our safety protocols are seamless and consistent across the district.

For more information on Livingston’s School Safety—One Year After Sandy Hook click here

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