Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BCEA: Providing Leadership to Develop a County-Wide Safe Schools Model

Joe Coppola, Jr., President of the Bergen County Education Association (BCEA), believes that Bergen County, New Jersey has what it takes to become a model of school safety and security for other counties throughout the nation.

"BCEA is committed to working with district and school staff to create the best possible learning environment for our students. This includes a continuing effort to work collaboratively with parents, law enforcement and community leaders to prevent tragedies whenever possible rather than react after an incident occurs."

As detailed on the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics website, the Bergen County Schools are comprised of approximately:

  • 80 School Districts
  • 279 Schools
  • 134,000 Students
  • 10,500 Teachers
  • 6,600 Other Staff

On Tuesday, September 16, 2008, the BCEA held a luncheon for 100 educators and law enforcement officials to kick off an initiative titled Transforming Our Schools: The Heart and Brick of School Security.

This initiative demonstrates the unity of effort approach in action, with the highest levels of law enforcement and education supporting the project including those in attendance:

  • Dr. Aaron R. Graham
       Bergen County Superintendent of Schools
    "I am confident that the leadership, teamwork and character of Bergen County Schools staff will respond to the challenges of our times and be fully committed to any and all activities necessary to keep our schools safe havens for student achievement."
  • John L. Molinelli
       Bergen County Prosecutor
    "As the prosecutor of Bergen County, I assure you that all law enforcement officials have the safety of our schools as their first priority and are fully dedicated to this school initiative."
and those supporting the effort who could not attend:
  • Leo P. McGuire
       Bergen County Sheriff
    "The Bergen County Education Association is to be commended for their leadership in promoting safe schools. Our department is fully dedicated to this collaborative undertaking.

    "I am proud to have participated in planning this important event with Joe Coppola and Vincent Bove. The program was a must attend for those who truly regard school safety as a primary concern. Well done BCEA!"

  • Frank Gurnari
       President, Bergen County Police Chiefs Association
       Bogota Police Chief
    "All the chiefs of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association are committed to the safety of our schools and are proud to support this outstanding initiative."

As the keynote speaker for the event, I shared thoughts from my new book Listen To Their Cries as well as a recently published article titled Head On Collision: Crisis of Character and Culture of Violence.

A follow-up professional development dinner and presentation will be held at The Marriott at Glenpointe in Teaneck, New Jersey on Wednesday, October 22, 2008:

Transforming our Schools:
The Heart and Brick of School Security

In response to ongoing school violence concerns, providing a safe learning environment for our children is a priority for teachers, administrators, counselors and staff. Yet it is important that schools remain communities dedicated to academic excellence and character education.

This program will focus on "the heart" as well as "the brick" aspects of school security. It will:

  • AFFIRM the educator’s role in the lives of their students
  • ENCOURAGE collaboration within the community
  • INSPIRE attendees to a renewed commitment to their profession
  • HIGHLIGHT the key components of School Safety
"Michelangelo and Da Vinci painted the Sistine Chapel and Mona Lisa, respectively. Through Picasso's Guernica , individuals can see the inhumanity, brutality and hopelessness of war. Van Gogh's paintings have captivated and given millions serenity, comfort and inspiration.

"But above and beyond the mastery of all of the world's greatest artists, only a teacher can mold the heart of a child." – Vincent J. Bove

These two venues will serve as the foundation for a presentation series designed to make Bergen County a national model of safe schools through emergency preparedness, violence prevention and character education.

The series will include topics such as

  • Crisis Management
  • Violence Prevention
  • Strategies for Working with Youth
  • Threat Assessment
  • School Safety Principles and Practices
  • Character Education
  • Understanding and Responding to Early Warning Signs

The Bergen County Education Association of New Jersey is to be commended for its dedication to school safety and character education as well as their collaboration with education professionals and the law enforcement community.


Bergen County Education Association Click here to visit site
Bergen County Prosecutor's Office Click here to visit site
Bergen County Sheriff's Office Click here to visit site
Bergen County Police Chiefs Association Click here to visit site

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home