School Safety

Courtesy of Pawel Czerwinski

The Guilford County School District is asking for $10 million dollars from the local Board of Education for safety and security improvements. 

The district wants to reduce the number of open exterior doors, upgrade surveillance systems, improve the emergency communications and fire alarm and detection systems and introduce student ID badges for more secure access into schools.

Sandy Hook Promise

At the start of the next school year, North Carolina middle and high school students will have a new tool to report threats to school safety. State Superintendent Mark Johnson introduced the “Say Something Anonymous Reporting System” at a press conference Thursday.

photo of an entrance at UNC Charlotte
UNC Charlotte/Stake Your Claim

Expressions of shock and grief continue today after a shooting last night on the campus of the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Two people were killed, and four others were injured.  

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced a campaign to educate the public on the consequences of posting hoax threats to schools and other public places and reminds communities that these hoax threats are not a joke.
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal agents and North Carolina law enforcement agencies are launching an awareness campaign to remind students that online school threats are not a joke — and are typically felonies.

Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus) addresses reporters Tuesday, June 5, 2018 in an effort to resurrect his school-safety legislation.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

State Representative Larry Pittman said he thinks the North Carolina General Assembly's Republican leadership is stifling his school-safety measure out of election-year fears.

In this May 12, 2017, photo, registered nurse Samantha Marz checks a student at Rundle elementary school in Las Vegas.
John Locher / AP

North Carolina could get new standards for staffing school nurses, if a new proposal goes forward.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

When legislators return to Raleigh next week for the start of the spring session, they will have a slew of ideas to consider to improve student safety in North Carolina schools. The House Select Committee on School Safety on Thursday approved a handful of recommendations to the General Assembly, and also drafted a number of possible bills.

High school and college students eager to respond to questions about gun safety issues from lawmakers.
Ben McKeown / WUNC

The Institute of Politics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill held a "reverse" town hall on gun violence Sunday to give influential lawmakers the opportunity to ask young people what they thought about the issue.

School bus
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Gov. Roy Cooper is calling for $130 million in the state budget to go toward student safety and mental health measures.

A sign indicates a no-student drop-off zone with Wake County public school buses in the background.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

U.S. Representative Ted Budd met with Guilford County School officials and law enforcement to discuss what can be done to improve school safety and security in the area.

School bus
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Educators and education policy leaders are weighing many options when it comes to improving school safety in an age of mass school shootings and other threats of violence. Add to that list strengthening penalties for anyone who threatens a school and its students.

To Jayla Hagans, a student organizer in Raleigh, school resource officers represent a big shift in school discipline that has disproportionately impacted students of color.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

This August, students at four elementary schools in rural Stanly County will return from summer vacation to fresh pencils, notebooks, and signs announcing the presence of armed officers on campus.

A student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla., attends a news conference about gun violence, Friday, March 23, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington, ahead of the Saturday March For Our Lives.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

This Saturday, students across North Carolina will join their peers from around the nation, yet again, to call for safer schools.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

The North Carolina General Assembly’s answer to the Parkland shooting and a still-simmering national conversation about school safety began Wednesday with a legislative committee. The House Select Committee on School Safety met for the first time to discuss measures to keep public school students safe.

Zainab Antepli, a junior at Chapel Hill High School, calls for tougher gun laws in front of a large crowd at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Since the mass school shooting in Columbine, America has seemed almost powerless against rogue gunmen attacking defenseless suburban schools. After the tragic killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, many declared that if America did not make changes after Newtown it never would. 

picture of Sheriff Sam Page
N.C. Sheriff's Association

There have been more than 10 school shootings in the country so far this year.  As the gun debate rages on Capitol Hill, students around the country have taken things into their own hands staging walkouts and protests.

photo of a gun and ammunition
Wikimedia Commons

Since the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Florida high school, President Donald Trump says teachers should be armed. Last week North Carolina State Superintendent Mark Johnson polled teachers around the state about the matter.

In this Dec. 27, 2012 file photo, Cori Sorensen, a fourth grade teacher from Highland Elementary School in Highland, Utah, receives firearms training with a .357 magnum
Rick Bowmer / AP

State Superintendent Mark Johnson is asking teachers whether or not they would like to be armed. So far, most say no. Johnson sent an informal, online poll in an email to all of the about 100,000 public school teachers across the state Thursday morning and received more than 19,000 responses in the first 24 hours.

A class of West Lumberton Elementary kindergartners meets in their temporary building at Lumberton Junior High. The school's enrollment is down from 150, pre-Matthew, to 90.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore is expected to form a new House committee on school safety on Tuesday. That comes days after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead.

A picture of children getting off a school bus.
woodley wonderworks / Flickr

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is on the lookout for motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus. The week-long enforcement campaign is called Operation Stop Arm.

Lieutenant Jeff Gordon says the initiative is part of National School Bus Safety week, but that it's especially appropriate considering recent accidents involving school children.

In the past month, four children have been hit by cars at their bus stops in Wilson and Wake Counties. One of those children died.

A picture of a man taking cover under his desk.
Whanganui Regional Primary Health Organisation / shakeout.goct.nz

Earthquakes are rare in North Carolina, but they happen. So the North Carolina Department of Public Safety is asking businesses and schools across the state to practice earthquake drills today.

The effort is part of the Great Southeast ShakeOut.

Spokeswoman Julia Jarema says there have already been four small quakes in the North Carolina this year. And we're not insulated from seismic activity in other parts of the region.

In the wake of a school shooting at Carver High School in Winston-Salem, parents and students are raising concerns about school safety. The school board will discuss the matter at their meeting this evening. Also, new healthy food guidelines are causing some schools to drop out of the federal school lunch program. But Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Schools are finding success in the new system. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools police patch
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Wake County’s sheriff, Donnie Harrison, is urging the School Board to create its own police force.  Harrison made the comments as part of a report to the Wake School Board on school security.

He says school security issues are more important now, six months after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the state House is behind a school safety bill that would add more law enforcement officers and social workers to schools.

NC Center for Safer Schools
State Dept of Public Safety

Governor Pat McCrory has introduced a new initiative to improve school security.  He has created the North Carolina Center for Safer Schools within the state Department of Public Safety.  McCrory says the center will work with school administrators, law enforcement and state mental health experts to minimize serious threats in and around schools.