At least 2 New Jersey school districts hire armed guards

The Marlboro Township and Totowa school districts put police guards at the entrance to public schools following the elementary school massacre in Connecticut.

At least two New Jersey school districts this week put armed police guards at the entrance to public schools in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school massacre.

In Marlboro Township in central New Jersey's Monmouth County, armed guards were on duty on Wednesday to check every child, teacher and visitor as they arrived and left any of the district's eight schools, which serve children in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade.

Further north, in Passaic County, the Totowa School District on Wednesday also started using armed police officers in its two elementary schools, according to local media reports.

VIDEO: U.S. town gets armed school guards

Marlboro Schools Superintendent David Abbott said the reaction from the community has been mixed but he is defending the decision.

"At least during a 90-day period, temporarily, as we sit down and look — and there's a good debate in the community about what it is that we want to do and not do — but while we're doing that, let's make sure that our schools are as safe and secure as we possibly can, given what's happened," Abbott told Reuters.

Twenty children and six staff members died when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.. The attack on Dec. 14 was the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

As surviving pupils returned to classes on Jan. 3 in a new building in a neighboring town, the motives of the killer remain a mystery.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg)

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