We know our children have lock-down drills. It’s a sad, unfortunate part of the world we live in. However Glen Ridge students had a lock-down drill supervised by Homeland Security!
On Thursday, March 6, a team comprised of ten officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the NJ Department of Education’s Safety and Security Task Forces visited Glen Ridge High School to conduct an unannounced school lock-down drill. With the exception of Glen Ridge Superintendent Dr. John Mucciolo and Chief of Police Sheila Byron-Lagattutta, no Glen Ridge Public School personnel received advanced notice of the exercise.
After a brief interview with GRHS Principal Dirk Phillips, the federal/state security team instructed Mr. Phillips to activate the school’s lock-down protocol. The protocol was initiated, the police arrived, and the drill went off successfully.
In the aftermath of the drill, the security team reported back to Dr. Mucciolo. “They were extremely impressed, with the school community’s response and the school’s close cooperation with the police,” he said, adding that he and Chief Byron-Lagattutta were subsequently asked to make a presentation on this ongoing cooperative effort at an upcoming Essex County Safety Summit.
Superintendent Dr. Mucciolo praised the GRHS administrators, staff and students, as well as the local police force for their efforts. “The NJ DOE team told us that of all the schools they have visited, GRHS was one of the best.”