Lakewood to clear boarding school that still had students living inside

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Lakewood police say that the town is working to clear out a boarding school that still has students living inside, despite Gov. Phil Murphy’s order for all schools in the state to close amid the coronavirus outbreak.

News 12 New Jersey has received numerous calls and messages about the Mesivta of Lakewood on West Kennedy Boulevard, where 100-150 students were still living.

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News 12 crews saw numerous children outside and around the school Thursday night around 9 p.m. The governor has also suggested that all New Jerseyans stay in their homes after 8 p.m. to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

RELATED: Lakewood police investigate reports of over 100 students sleeping in school 

Lakewood police spokesman Capt. Gregory Staffordsmith says that police are working to get the children home.

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“Our priority is to get these students back to their families as quickly and safely as possible. We are currently working closely with local liaisons and school officials to expedite this and the number of students remaining is reported to be less than 50 … all are expected to be removed by [Friday] evening,” Staffordsmith said in a statement.

A police officer will remain at the school to make sure the students are all gone.

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Staffordsmith also says that police have issued several summonses to venues in the town that are not adhering to a ban on large gatherings. The governor had placed a ban on groups of 50 or more people.

Lakewood police broke up a large wedding over the weekend, and police say that they learned Friday of another pop-up wedding venue that was operating in a Spruce Street home. The owners were given summonses for maintaining a nuisance.

“The Lakewood police is asking that its citizens be responsible and obey the directives set forth by the State of New Jersey for the safety and health of all. Those that choose not to will be subject to criminal prosecution,” Staffordsmith said.

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