Local News

Students, Administrators Develop Initiatives To Prevent School Violence

Posted March 4, 2001

— Two students were killed and 13 were injured after a 15-year-old student opened fire in a California high school bathroom.Wake Countyand other education administrators are working on initiatives to make schools safer for students.

Jonathan Wilkins, a peer mediator and a member of Sanderson Middle School's Safe Club, says it is important to pay attention to how you treat other people.

"We used to have so many fights, like a fight every day at school. Now, it's down to like once every month. It's great," he says.

Jonathan's sister, Jennifer, is a student at Sanderson High School. Last week, a weapon was confiscated at the school because a student did the right thing by telling an adult.

Margie Wilkins, Jonathan's mom, is relieved her kids know not to keep quiet when it comes to potential school violence.

"I was talking to Jennifer about it in the car, and she said, 'Mom, if I knew someone had a weapon, I would definitely go and tell a teacher,'" she says.

A statewide safe schools' initiative is working against school violence everywhere. Corey Duber, security director of Wake County Schools, says we need to change the mindset of a new generation that telling is OK.

"They've got to understand that tattling about ridiculous stuff is one thing, but having information that can save somebody's life is critical information for us to know," he says.

Another option for students to share information anonymously is to call a statewide, toll-free hotline.

Students who suspect any type of trouble at school can call1-888-960-9600. The phones are answered by professional counselors.


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