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Paterson, NJ: District wants MORE school counselors, FEWER security staff

Nov 9, 2018, Paterson advocates say city schools have too few counselors, too many cops Local education advocates say the Paterson district should consider increasing its counseling staff and cutting the number of police officers and security guards in schools. … Speakers at the event held at Eastside High School asserted that counselors are more qualified to reach and address the social and emotional needs of children. … The Paterson school district has 73 guidance counselors and 12 student assistance coordinators. Its security staff includes 12 off-duty city police officers, 49 district security officers and 116 staff members from a private security company. “I do want more counselors, and I want more professional development for staff so that they are trained to handle some of the situations that our security staff handle,” said Paterson Schools Superintendent Eileen Shafer in a statement. “I want more counselors for students to address mental health issues and provide individual and group counseling.” “As a school district, we face the never-ending challenge of making sure that all students are safe while providing all students with every opportunity for academic success in the face of very limited resources,” said Shafer…. Robert Scott, president of the districtwide parents council, said security is needed to ensure schools are safe. Wendell Crawford, a counsellor at Eastside, defended the presence of police in schools. …


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