Local News

Task Force Hopes to Stop Violence in Cumberland Schools

Posted April 28, 1999

— The school shooting in Colorado had led to threats of violence at schools across the country and here at home. In Cumberland County, a task force intends to stop the violence before it starts.

The sheriff's office says the task force is to send a message to parents that they will investigate all rumors and threats. It is a message to students that any type of that activity will not be tolerated.

A loaded gun was found Monday in aSouth View High Schoolstudent's backpack. Also on Monday, a 14-year-old was suspended at the Massey Hill Classical High School for a drawing on how to make a bomb.

There have also been bomb threats and lots of rumors. The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office and school officials say "enough is enough."

"And the key for our community is to take positive actions but not engage in counter-productive over-reactions," said Rick Glazier, school board chairman.

With the support of the school system, the sheriff's office has started a school incident task force to investigate all rumors and threats.

"We want the public to understand that if we find that there is validity to the rumors and we go to the point that we can identify the person who has started something, if it is criminal, they're going to be arrested," said Sheriff Moose Butler.

Deputies will also offer support to school resource officers already on every campus. They will conduct random searches and extra patrols. It is a way to put everyone's mind at ease.

"We're trying to lower the apprehension and raise the confidence level," said Chip Grammer, school system security chief.

Some principals chose to send home letters with students letting parents know that if they see extra patrol cars, do not panic. They are there for a reason and not necessarily because a crime has occurred.


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