Parents, students flood Perth Amboy BOE meeting to express concerns about violence
Dozens of parents and students attended a Perth Amboy Board of Education meeting Thursday night to voice their concerns about violence in the city’s schools.
It’s been just over two weeks since 11-year-old Smailyn Jimenez was stabbed, allegedly by another 11-year-old, while walking home from school. News 12 New Jersey has been following reports of violence across Perth Amboy’s schools since that attack.
News 12 spoke with some Perth Amboy parents who discussed their children’s stories of bullying and a culture of violence in the district.
Thursday’s meeting was the first since Jimenez was attacked, and many Perth Amboy residents wanted to express their thoughts and concerns.
RELATED: Some Perth Amboy parents say violence at district schools has gotten worse, children don’t feel safe
The participants displayed anger and frustration and called for change. They said that the district has failed them.
Ana Abreu told News 12 that her 16-year-old son was attacked last year by three other students at Perth Amboy High School.
Superintendent Dr. David A. Roman announced that they will implement hand-held metal detectors starting on Friday, March 31. Roman also said that training of staff and updated entrance protocols have already been implemented.
Officials also addressed the importance of mental health for both students and educators and how little importance is given to this issue.
It is expected that the school board will vote on metal detectors, armed security guards and backpack checks, as well.