Education

State panel rolls out school safety recommendations

Posted September 6, 2013

A Hillsborough police officer patrols outside Central Elementary School on Dec. 17, 2012, in the wake of a school massacre in Connecticut.
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— A panel appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory announced Friday nearly 80 recommendations to make North Carolina public schools safer.

McCrory created the Center for Safer Schools in March in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that killed 20 first-graders and six faculty members.

"We have already begun to implement some of the recommendations outlined in this report, and I look forward to working with the General Assembly, school districts and schools to continue applying best practices for school safety on our campuses," McCrory said in a statement.

The General Assembly passed legislation this summer requiring every school to give local law enforcement copies of keys to all doors and schematic drawings of the school's layout.

Lawmakers also earmarked $7 million in grant money for more school resource officers in elementary and middle schools, and $2 million in grant money was budgeted to put panic buttons in every school by 2015. Also, legislation was passed that requires school counselors and psychologists to spend 80 percent of their time working with students.

Center for Safer Schools officials held forums statewide to collect information used to develop a comprehensive approach to school safety.

The recommendations include the following:

  • Establishing an anonymous reporting system for schools statewide.
  • Requiring all schools to have a safety plan and update it every two years.
  • Encouraging all districts to participate in all-hazards training.
  • Developing alternatives to out-of-school suspensions.
  • Expanding bullying prevention efforts.
  • Using technology to make school buses safer.

“A chief component of public safety is ensuring our school campuses provide a safe learning environment,” Secretary of Public Safety Frank Perry said in a statement. “Our goal is to work with local stakeholders to address the physical, mental and social factors that contribute to youth violence so that our schools remain a safe and secure learning environment.”

McCrory said Friday that he is creating a Safer Schools Task Force, made up of parents, students, school administrators, mental health professionals and law enforcement officers, to serve as an advisory board and provide recommendations to improve statewide policies governing school safety.

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  • kermit60 Sep 9, 2013

    Given the passengers carried and miles driven the only safer form of transportation before school busses is flying. If parents think the busses are that unsafe then they can drive their child to school. But they won't do that because it is inconvienient and much easier to complain about the school.

  • durhamhokie Sep 6, 2013

    Maybe he could hire a consultant, and pay them 30k/month. Not a school safety consultant, but just some big time executive who knows . . .stuff.

  • injameswetrust2003 Sep 6, 2013

    "how about seat belts for each and every child?" Too expensive.

    It doesn't look like anything new or already tried...we needed a Center for Safer schools to repeat old ideas? Great use of taxypayer money.

  • WralCensorsAreBias Sep 6, 2013

    how about seat belts for each and every child?

    how about not allowing a child to ever seat in the floor, or stand, again? Wake County.

  • grimreaper3053 Sep 6, 2013

    I think it all is outstanding ideas, anything to protect children in school. It is bad that it has come to this, but it is what it is and things have to be done to protect life. As far as the buses traveling 55 on 40 that is only 10 under the posted speed limit, sorry folks want to drive 80+ and get caught in the far right lane.

  • jenforthewin Sep 6, 2013

    Also, legislation was passed that requires school counselors and psychologists to spend 80 percent of their time working with students.

    This one makes some sense. Counselors proactively counseling. I like it!

  • steelrails Sep 6, 2013

    In the old days our high school, not in NC, had an administrative position titled, "Disciplinarian." The position was filled by a short, stocky, Greek, and mean as a snake WWII Marine. Think anyone got by with anything, heck NO. There was no physical punishment either, just staying after school for a day or a week or more, as they say, "Whatever it Takes." Mr. Sgro passed away earlier this year. No telling how many kids he scared straight but I know one that he worked on, me. Rest in peace Mr. Sgro.

    Now school kids are not allowed to participate in competitive activities such as 'dodge ball" for fear of offending the kids that get hit and have to sit on the sidelines for awhile.

    You want school safety, rediscovery some of the old ways that developed respect among students and for those that liked to push the limits, the fear of a strict school Disciplinarian. These kids must understand there are consequences for their negative actions just as there are for their positive actions.

  • careys5 Sep 6, 2013

    answer me this, why are schools in nc still gun free zones? weather there are guns there or not, schools should not be labeled gun free zones. i would rather someone think twice about shooting up a school than knowing he's not going to face any opposition. go ahead now lets hear your spin on the subject.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Sep 6, 2013

    U2 - "...instead of spending all the money on " technology" for buses, allow trained teachers to carry concealed. Then and only then will these kids with" mental" issues think twice before attempting to come to schools and kill innocent people."

    Why not do all humanly possible to protect children?

    Also, do you really thing anyone with "mental" issues thinks much at all before committing violence against others?

  • U2 Sep 6, 2013

    Blah blah blah, instead of spending all the money on " technology" for buses, allow trained teachers to carry concealed. Then and only then will these kids with" mental" issues think twice before attempting to come to schools and kill innocent people.

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