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Charlotte Observer: Crime At Harding High More Than Quadrupled In Year

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police reports show crimes reported at Harding University High School have more than quadrupled over the past year. WCNC video: "The kids are scared. The parents are scared." The Observer's news partner, WCNC-TV, looked at reports filed from August to November 2010, in which nine crimes were called into police. For the same time period in 2011, there have been 42 police reports filed. The reports include assault, drugs, and weapons violations. Harding High parents and students have been complaining for weeks that the school isn't safe. Just a few weeks ago, the school was put on lockdown after a threat was called in. The lockdown ended 45 minutes before dismissal on October 26. During that time, dozens of CMS and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, joined by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office, searched the campus grounds, apparently for firearms. At the same time, police went room to room inside the school's buildings, conducting a similar search. School officials did not elaborate on the nature of the threat, but a law enforcement source told Observer news partner WCNC-TV that the lockdown followed a threat that someone would be shot. It is unclear how school officials received or learned of the threat. During the search, authorities confiscated four knives and "illegal substances," according to the CMS statement. No gun was found. Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools police have stepped up security since then. Parents and students said the problems started when E.E. Waddell merged with Harding this year, bringing two rival schools under one roof. "That degree of change has made it really difficult for a lot of students," said Eric Davis, chairman of the board of education. CMS said that the increased security will continue at the school indefinitely. Copyright 2011 The Charlotte Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.