Last Tuesday, September 14th, Asbury Park High School students and staff were ordered into an AED lockdown for about 45 minutes, a procedure used when someone requires the use of an automated external defibrillator because of a heart problem and medical professionals don’t want anyone in the way.
However, according to sources, this isn’t what really happened: there was no medical emergency. Instead, district administrators (they were in the building at the time for a “leadership walk-through”) wanted to “downplay” the fact that, allegedly, two students had brought at least one weapon into the school. Several sources told NJ Ed Report that the weapon was a gun. [Editor’s note: If the students indeed had a gun, they would be subject to expulsion, not suspension.]
This is not the first instance of such an event at Asbury Park High School. Eighteen month ago a student brought a loaded gun into school and no one told the staff. This incident led to the principal’s temporary suspension although the buck stopped with then-Superintendent Sancha Gray, who sources said was aware of the cover-up.
This time the buck stops with Acting Superintendent Rashawn Adams, who was selected by the Asbury Park School Board as a temporary replacement for Gray, who left unexpectedly. (She is now working in former Asbury Park Superintendent/NJ Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet’s new office at Kean University.) The Board chose Rashawn Adams from pool of two candidates, one of whom dropped out before he was even interviewed. (The photo above is Adams’s Facebook photo.)
Of the current incident, several staff members reported “there were cops and detectives all over the building” because “two eighth-graders said they were going to shoot up the school.” (Currently Asbury Park High School houses 7th-12th graders due to dropping enrollment throughout the district.) Another source said a student claimed he had brought a gun in the building that he had been hiding in the sports field.
Another staff member explained to NJ Ed Report that students bring in weapons–typically knives but sometimes guns– for self-defense when walking to and from school. “It’s just a way of life in this town,” the source said, adding,
What is annoying is these superintendents coming in and creating a smoke screen with their twitter and deceitful tactics to make it look like they’ve turned things around — and, if they truly have, why does the student population drop each year?
The “smoke screen” of the AED was made apparent on Friday when two students were suspended for 10 days from Asbury Park High School for “an incident that occurred on 09/14/2021.”