North Carolina School Safety Panel Issues Recommendations
In its final report, the panel recommended funding for school resource officers at every school in the state, or at least at every middle and high school campus, with multiple elementary schools sharing one officer.
- By Jessica Davis
- February 13, 2019
The Special Committee on School Shootings, a North Carolina panel formed after the Parkland shooting nearly a year ago, presented its final report and 33 recommendations to Governor Roy Cooper on Thursday.
"When parents send their kids to school, they expect them to be out of harm’s way, and we owe it to these kids and their families to make sure our schools are safe environments for learning," Cooper said in a statement.
The panel, part of the Governor’s Crime Commission, was formed in the wake of the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 people dead. The Special Committee is led by former Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison and Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger.
In its final report, the panel recommended funding for school resource officers at every school in the state, or at least at every middle and high school campus, with multiple elementary schools sharing one officer. The panel also called for training for school resource officers so the officers can teach students how to respond to an emergency situation on campus.
According to the panel, schools need to run more active shooter drills, as well as “harden” their security with the addition of cameras, alarms and other security measures that can impede a bad actor from entering the building.
Other recommendations made by the panel include:
- More state funding for school nurses, counselors and psychologists to improve mental health capabilities
- A statewide tip line or cellphone apps to alert local law enforcement immediately to a pending school threat
- Train school personnel and law enforcement on student privacy law requirements
- Authorize gun violence protection orders to allow courts to temporarily remove guns from someone deemed a threat
- Improve the collection and sharing of data on school violence, including consistent definitions
- Develop model policies for searches at schools, including for drugs
- Create a safe schools certification program
"We feel like we can stop it before it happens. That's the purpose of this," Harrison said. "Can we all work together – family, school personnel, more counselors, anybody that we can get to speak out to – prevent something from happening."
Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.