Students of Griebling School in Howell were not allowed to exit their buses or parents' vehicles this morning until they received the green light from police.

Griebling School in Howell (Howell Township Schools)

Howell Police arrived at the school after getting reports of "echoing, popping sounds" from parents and arriving staff members. Police determined the sounds came from the rifles of nearby hunters, who were in the fields behind Griebling.

"It was reported that they were within their legal limits for this activity," said a note to parents from Principal Nancy Rupp.

Taking into account the recent shooting massacre in Connecticut, Rupp urged police to encourage the hunters to go elsewhere.

Parents of children at the school have been contacting media outlets and lawmakers since this morning's incident, frustrated that the hunters were so close to the building that the gunshots could be heard.

According to information provided to the Patch of Howell by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, there is a "Safety Zone" for school buildings and playgrounds of 450 feet for firearms. The safety zone for bowhunters is 150 feet for buildings and 450 feet for playgrounds.

Within these safety zones hunters, "cannot carry a loaded firearm or nocked arrow unless you have written permission in hand."

Safety zones were established in 1946 "as an area to place some physical distance, a buffer, between hunters and homeowners," the division said.


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