School Safety

Police cars are stationed outside of Butler High School after a shooting Monday morning.

Gun possession in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools spiked to 22 cases in 13 schools last school year, according to a report presented to the state Board of Education this week. And that’s not even counting a fatal shooting at Butler High in October 2018.


What started about a year ago as a push for safer schools has turned into a war of words between Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Centegix, a company that sold the district a panic-alarm system. Caught in the middle are Mecklenburg taxpayers, students and CMS employees.


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Earnest Winston said Tuesday he's severing the district’s relationship with a company that sold a school panic-alarm system and that he'll try to get the district’s money back.


A panic alarm system that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools had touted as a way to make schools safer doesn’t work, Superintendent Earnest Winston said Friday.

Rep. Craig Horn, R-Union Co.

Lawmakers on the House Select Committee on School Safety have been meeting in different parts of the state over the last month. Their aim is to hear new ideas and recommend funding and legislation to make public schools safer. Gun control is not on the commitee's agenda. Republican Rep. Craig Horn of Union County told WFAE Morning Edition host Lisa Worf why that's not the case, and what he expects the committee to recommend.


Increasing the number of school psychologists has come up as one way to make schools safer. The National Association of School Psychologists says there should be one school psychologist per 700 students. But in North Carolina the average is 1 per 2,100 students.

In some rural North Carolina counties, sheriffs are taking advantage of a state law passed in 2013 that allows them to recruit armed volunteers for school security. That's happening in two central North Carolina counties - Rockingham and in Stanly, where the school board voted last week to begin a pilot in four remote schools. 

When the bell rings at Chicago's Sullivan High School on the city's far north side, it's a familiar scene. Hundreds of students pour into the hallway heading to their next class. What's also becoming increasingly familiar is the presence of two uniformed police officers in the hallway keeping watch. The school resource officers often chat with the students passing by and Sullivan's principal Chad Adams says the officers provide a higher level of security for the school and much more.

Gwendolyn Glenn / WFAE News

The national debate over school safety continues in the wake of tragedies including the fatal shootings of 17 people earlier this month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  There are strong calls for stricter gun control measures and a growing debate over the idea of arming teachers and school staffers.   Monday evening, Superintendent Clayton Wilcox and CMPD Chief Kerr Putney will participate in a Facebook Live event to address school safety. 

LISA WORF: What do you think of the idea of arming teachers?