The Student News Site and Newsletter of John F. Kennedy Memorial High School

The Torch

The Student News Site and Newsletter of John F. Kennedy Memorial High School

The Torch

The Student News Site and Newsletter of John F. Kennedy Memorial High School

The Torch

Breaking News: Additional Security Guards in Schools

Woodbridge Schools are striving for a better and safer learning environment.
Soraya Cuevas
Security guard and local police officer ready to supervise the JFKMHS cafeteria on Monday morning during third block.

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Superintendent Dr. Joseph Massimino of Woodbridge Township Public Schools sent an email out on Feb. 21 to all parents and guardians of the school district to announce advanced installments for security reasons—modern cameras, communication systems and new security guards will be placed within the three high schools.

Security officers will be in elementary, middle and high schools to help with additional supervision in assigned areas. There will be two full-time guards as well as a rotating police officer each day. Most of the time, they will be spotted in the hallways while passing blocks.

Some students tend to stay in the hallways even though the bell for the next class has rung. This has been a recurring problem that staff members and administrators have had to deal with. Luckily, guards are one of many solutions. 

In addition, their presence lessens conflict within the school. In past years, staff members were the ones who broke up arguments or student struggles. Administration is hoping that students are less likely to make bad decisions under the supervision of security officers and high-tech cameras. 

Angel Pastrana is one of the new security guards at JFKMHS. Before taking the new job, he was a police officer and homicide detective for the Jersey City Police.

“My function is to protect life and property, which is the students and staff, and make sure there are no intruders that come to harm you guys or anybody else,” Pastrana states. “So far, it’s been a wonderful experience, everyone has been friendly, cooperative and making it a pleasant place to be at with you guys.”

Kevin Kot is the second full-time security guard at Kennedy. He retired from the police force after working 28 years.  

“I still have that little bit of ‘protect and serve’ in me, so I thought, what better way to do that than come here and help you guys,” Kot said. “Working in town with the kids… I can’t think of anything better than that.”

The added security is backed by most of the staff and administration at JFK , including Todd Kaul, who has been a history teacher at JFKMHS for 23 years.

“I think it is good to have more security in the building and be able to have people be able to respond to a variety of situations,” Mr. Kaul stated.



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About the Contributors
Esther Dorielan is a junior at John F. Kennedy Memorial High School. She is currently a contributor and this is her second year taking journalism. Esther first heard about this class from her ninth grade teacher, Ms. Prusicki. The reason why she is a part of The Torch is due to her enjoyment of current events going on in school and the world. Esther participates in after-school activities such as The Black Student Union, Kennedy Cancer Society, and Key Club. Off-campus, she is involved in her usher and choir program at her church, as well as working at her retail job on the weekends. When Esther is home, her interests include watching movies, specifically romance comedy, and listening to music.
Soraya Cuevas is a junior who will graduate in 2025. This is her second year in journalism where she is a contributor for The Torch. She is in journalism to improve her writing skills. Her favorite subjects in school are math and English. Outside of school she enjoys listening to music, watching tv, and playing volleyball with her friends. After high school, she is interested in working in a hospital either for radiography or sonography. When she has graduated college she wants to be able to help people. She also wants to travel when she is older and plans on visiting as many countries as she can with her close friends and family.

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