Triangle Families Caught Up in Threat of School Violence
Posted April 14, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
DURHAM — Everyone talks about solving school violence, but few solutions are found. Now, two Triangle families have children caught in the cycle of schoolhouse threats, beatings and harassment and they're worried the schools won't be able to stop it.
For two families, the violence has become very real. Ironically, the fathers in both families risk their lives to protect citizens from violence. Both are police officers who, as parents, are concerned about attacks on their own children.
There's laughter and fun outside the home of Reginald and Melissa Fountain, but when their 9-year-old daughter returns to school next week, it will be no laughing matter. At Glenn Elementary School, their daughter has been beaten, taunted and threatened.
Two weeks ago,the Fountain's daughter received a letter from a fellow fourth-grader who wrote about having a knife with intent to cut her throat.
The wife of a Durham police officer, Melissa Fountain views the death threats as being very real.
Everette Johnson is a Lieutenant on the Chapel Hill police force. His son is a classmate of Fountain's daughter. He believes the threat is so real that he frequently spends the entire day inside the classroom to keep watch.
Johnson says he and the Fountains want school administrators to provide school a safe environment.
Durham Public Schools officials say safety and security are priorities.
With schools being on break this week, no one from the school system was available for comment, but they did fax information about the case to WRAL. The report stated that, on March 30, parents met with the school principal and assistant school superintendents. The principal said she would bring all the students and parents involved in this situation together, but to date, that has not happened.