Local News

Nash-Rocky Mount School System Changes Student Sign-Out Policies

Posted November 6, 2006 6:56 a.m. EST

— Nash-Rocky Mount Public School officials say they are making changes to the school system's policy regarding students' being released from school early.

The changes come one week after police arrested and charged two men who allegedly took two female students out of Rocky Mount Senior High School without authorization and allegedly had sexual contact with them.

Rocky Mount police said that on at least four different occasions within a two-month period, the men -- Tyron Arrington, 19, and Tony Wilkins, 37 -- went to the school and signed one or both of the students -- ages 14 and 16 -- out of school.

Superintendent Rick McMahon said Monday that it does not appear school administrators violated any school policy by releasing the students. He said the suspects lied about who they were and the students agreed to leave with them.

"When an incident like this occurs, we take the opportunity to take a look at our procedures to see if there is anything we can do to strengthen our procedures," McMahon said.

School leaders said those changes include not allowing phone calls alone to get students out of class, introducing an approved list of people who are allowed to sign students out, and requiring photo identification.

Neither the superintendent nor school board members would discuss any specifics about the changes because of possible legal action.

Rocky Mount attorney Antonio Lawrence sent a letter to the school system informing officials that he is now representing the family of the 14-year-old student who was involved. Lawrence, however, refused to speak with WRAL.

Sources tell WRAL the 16-year-old student still attends the high school, but the 14-year-old student's guardians pulled her out of the school.

Arrington and Wilkins are both charged with abduction and taking indecent liberties with a child. Arrington also faces statutory rape charges and is still in jail. Wilkins is out on bond.