Local News

Wilson Schools Work With Authorities To Prevent Gang Activity

Posted August 4, 2004 7:12 a.m. EDT

— The first day of school in Wilson County wrapped up with no major problems. Administrators have taken proactive steps to ensure it stays that way.

There have been some recent problems with groups fighting in Wilson County. The schools are working with law enforcement to keep the violence from spreading to campus.

Last month, two Wilson teenagers were shot, and one was killed. Police believe both shootings are tied to feuding groups in the area.

"We're looking at dress codes and other kinds of things that might give us some indication that students might be joining gangs or groups of people," said Wilson County Superintendent Larry Price. "We will address our dress codes. We will address our discipline policies."

School resource officers assigned to patrol campuses also will be watching for any signs of gang activity.

"We're always concerned that something from outside the school could trickle in," school resource officer Cpl. Jim Howard said.

Officers in Wilson County also will take extra precautions at some extracurricular activities, like the football games.

"Obtain more metal detectors," Howard said. "We will increase our officers for security during games."

Students have been taking notice of the recent violence among their peers.

"Well, it's always a concern, but it could happen anywhere," student Megan Wester said.

Most students said they have not heard any talk of gangs at school.

"Teachers also do a great job, and they try to keep us in class as much as possible to prevent anything from happening," student Requan Boyette said.

School officials said they have not had any major problems with violence on any Wilson County campus.