Autism New Jersey Amendment Strengthens School Safety Law

August 16, 2022

On August 1st, Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill (A4075/3229) into law that requires school districts and charter schools to develop and adopt policies to establish a threat assessment team.

The purpose of the threat assessment team is to assist in identifying students of concern, assessing those students’ risk for engaging in violence or other harmful activities, and delivering intervention strategies to manage the risk of harm for students who pose a potential safety risk to prevent targeted violence in the school and ensuring a safe and secure school environment that enhances the learning experience for all members of the school community.

Autism New Jersey fully supported this bill but saw the need to add clarifying language to strengthen the bill. Two of the bill’s sponsors, Assemblywoman Lampitt and Assemblyman Moen, agreed to add our suggested amendment that ensures that if a child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan, that the threat assessment team consult with the IEP team or 504 team to determine whether the aberrant behavior is a threat to school safety and is being properly addressed in a manner that is required by N.J.A.C.6A:14 and all federal and state special education laws.

Autism New Jersey thanks Governor Murphy, Senators Ruiz and Beach, Assemblyman Moen, and Assemblywomen Lampitt and Mosquera for their support of this bill and addition of the amendment that ensures the safety of children receiving special education services in our state and balances it with the protections that federal and state law already extend to students with disabilities.