Father of Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS Tragedy Speaks to NJ School Administrators


Left to right: Paul Minoff, Jeff Gale, and Scott Newgass (Photo provided)

Burlington Township, NJ – The New Jersey School Public Relations Association (NJSPRA) hosted an event called “School Safety Communications Symposium: The Parent Perspective” on April 11, 2019 at the Burlington Township High School Performing Arts Center for more than 75 New Jersey school administrators.

Among the panelists was Paul Minoff, a father of two teenagers who survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy that took place in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018.

“It is critical to those who put their trust in the school systems for education to also be able to trust that the school officials will properly communicate with them. Thorough and honest communication is key,” said Paul Minoff, father of two Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS tragedy survivors.

Joining Mr. Minoff on the dais was Jeff Gale from the New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of School Safety and Preparedness and Scott Newgass of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement. Rick Kaufman, a school communications professional who was among the first-responders to triage victims during the Columbine High School tragedy which occurred twenty years ago this month, joined via video conference from Minnesota.

The purpose of the symposium was to inform and educate school administrators on best practices related to school crisis communications. “Schools that are willing to take the perceived or imagined risks of communicating difficult information are usually rewarded by the appreciation and trust of their community,” said Scott Newgass.


The panel was facilitated by Alicia D’Anella, Esq. of the Comegno Law Group, the event’s lead sponsor. “Developing a communications strategy that anticipates the needs of stakeholders is an essential component of risk management. Districts that are prepared to communicate responsively, rather than reactively, provide leadership, reassurance and healing to their communities,” said Alicia D’Anella, Esq.

The event was co-hosted by the NJ School Public Relations Association, the Burlington Township Public School District and the Camden County Educational Services Commission.

About New Jersey School Public Relations Association (NJSPRA):

The New Jersey School Public Relations Association (NJSPRA) is a state chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), nationally recognized for its efforts on behalf of school public relations professionals.

Members include public relations and communications professionals, as well as superintendents, administrators, board members, principals, and consultants.


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