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Letters to the Editor

Synopsis of a Westfield Board of Education Meeting on March 17

March 19, 2015

2015-2016 BUDGET PRESENTATION Technology Paul Pineiro, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, led the discussion regarding how technology affects our classrooms and ult...

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Today's Events

Police Blotter

Assault and Robbery at Westfield Business Reported

April 1, 2015

Apr 1, 2015 12:47 a.m. Officers Popleik and Carrero arrested Jonny Londonosarrazola, age 32, on the strength of the following warrants: Westfield municipal court warrant #E13 1794 in the amo...

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Columns

NJ Perfect Home, Your Real Estate Source

Spring 2015 Real Estate Market Update

Although temperatures outside might not be exhibiting warmth, spring is here, and the real estate market is heating up! If you’re thinking about selling your home, now is a great time to a...

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Weltman Home Services

Want Under The Kitchen Counter Lighting?

Call 888 WELTMAN to set up your appointment today!

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In the Schools

Pi Day a Real Treat at Westfield Elementary School

A variety of pies were served by parents to third, fourth and fifth graders at Franklin Elementary School on March 13.  The occasion was national Pi Day, and besides a slice of pie, student...

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The Innovative Classroom

A Week in the Life of PARCC

During the month of March, Westfield High School, along with schools in 13 other states, participated in one of the most controversial educational moves to date — the implementation of of ...

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ViaNutrition

Getting Your Body in Balance for Optimum Fitness Results

What is going on? You eat pretty well, you exercise and still nothing is changing. Does this sound vaguely familiar? Well, the body is a complex machine, and the right balance of energy is neces...

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Westfield Area Y

Westfield Area Y's 'Fun for Fours' Class Enjoys the Study of Animals

Children in Mrs. Zarember’s “Fun for Fours” class at the Y’s Preschool located at the Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Avenue in Cranford recently finished their stu...

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The Academic Coach

Strong Finish

All long distance runners know that a marathon doesn’t really start until the 20 mile mark. That’s the point at which the race gets really tough and many competitors “hit a wal...

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Ince Landscape Construction & Management

Did Winter Burn Compromise Your Trees and Shrubs?

Oh, winter!  It has been a long, cold winter this season, but spring is here and I am sure you are seeing the affects winter had on your trees and shrubs. As prepared as our landscape i...

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Experts of H.O.M.E.

Make your Home Spring-Ready

Here are some tips to get your home ready for Spring as we start to thaw: As the snow and ice finally melt, check along the foundations for any cracks or signs of damage. Small crac...

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Employment Law

Super Lawyers Magazine Chooses Fred Shahrooz-Scampato

The firm is proud to announce that Fred Shahrooz-Scampato, Esquire, has been chosen for a second year in a row, to receive the distinguished honor of Employment Litigation: Plaintiff by Super La...

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BH Sports Training/BrawlHouse: The Water Cooler

Mobility Clinic for CrossFit Athletes

CrossFit Westfield and FLO Fitness are excited to announce a special mobility clinic on April 19th from 9:00 am to 10:30 am.  Chris Flores will spend 90 minutes going through his R.D.A. Pro...

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Talking About Grief

Talking about Death and Dying at Local Conversation Cafe - Sponsored by Summit Medical Group, My Gift of Grace and Atlantic Health System

Ever considered a dinner conversation about end of life but haven't been able to have it? Ever consider that this conversation could actually be fun and interesting? Then consider joining Im...

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Monday with Millicent

Easter Sunday Dining Options

Perhaps you’re looking for a place to dine on Easter Sunday or any other Day? Enclosed is a group of restaurants for your dining pleasure. Do let me know if you’ve enjoyed your e...

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Why I Opposed the Armed Officer (SRO), Again

By MITCH SLATER

May 21, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Last night at the Board of Education Meeting the plan was to hear a presentation about the effectiveness of the Student Resource Officer (Westfield policeman) for this past school year. One would have thought the actual officer himself would have appeared and spoke, but instead we heard a presentation from our Guidance Director and WHS Vice Principal.

I was very disappointed to not hear directly from the officer, though my views have not changed that what we really needed was a SAC (student assistance counselor) or mental health professional instead of an armed officer. Recently a criminologist at the University of Maryland wrote, "There is no evidence that placing officers in the schools improves safety. And it increases the number of minor behavior problems that are referred to the police—pushing kids into the criminal justice system."

Recently The Star Ledger reported on an incident at another NJ School where a coach at a sporting event grabbed the holster and gun from the school SRO and pointed it another coach in anger. Fortunately nobody was hurt, but these kinds of situations are alarming.

Just last week in another state a High School senior prank was met with an SRO approaching the students with his gun pointing directly at them--not knowing it was a prank. Add to the mix that a 2010 study of NYC Police officers showed that in situations where they are firing directly at a person, only 28.3 percent actually hit their target. Nobody wants to imagine what a stray bullet would do in a school of 2,000 kids and hundreds of staff. I am not staying that would ever happen with our excellent police force, but it's just not worth the risk in my opinion.

Neighboring towns are choosing other methods of security, like a wonderful new technology called the Share 911 program. It is a high tech emergency information system that provides access for employees, teachers, students, parents and most importantly first responders. It is being used all over NJ (nearby Springfield and Berkeley Heights, for example) in schools that have chosen to not have an armed SRO.

I also would like to know what the students' take has been on the SRO—I think a survey would be very helpful here. Please know I have nothing against our current SRO—he is an excellent officer and a dedicated young man.  Obviously as a parent I want all of our schools to be a safe environment. I just do not believe bringing a gun into the school is the smartest way to do it.

These are the views of Mitch Slater, Westfield resident, and do not reflect the views or opinions of the Board of Education.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.