WS/FC Schools Addresses Safety Concerns After Violent Incidents

WS/FC Schools Addresses Safety Concerns After Violent Incidents

7:34am Sep 24, 2021
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Tricia McManus and district leaders held a press conference on Thursday, September 23, 2021 to talk about security improvements and other plans to help keep guns out of schools. Screenshot: KERI BROWN/WFDD

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools district has announced new strategies to curb violence after a fatal shooting at Mount Tabor High School earlier this month. This comes after another gun was brought to school by a student.

This is the fourth firearm found on campuses since school began last month. District leaders also say they’re concerned about fighting among students.

McManus says they are focusing on prevention strategies. Assessment teams will be placed at some high schools, including adding more social workers and counselors.

Athletic events will use wanding, a method of metal detecting, and clear bags are required for football and other school events. 

McManus says the district will hire a national expert to guide other safety measures.

“In the next couple of weeks, we talked about a survey going out to our families to get their feedback and input," she says. "And we will be working with this consultant to make sure that whatever we are going to do is actually going to address the problem and not just provide a band-aid and a false sense of security.”

McManus says she’s not sure where students are getting the weapons or what’s driving the spike in recent incidents. But she says the district is working with local law enforcement and community partners to find solutions.

On Thursday, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office says a student resource officer located a firearm in a student’s backpack at Mount Tabor High School. An anonymous tip received by a school resource officer and the Winston Salem/Forsyth County School System led to the confiscation.

“We work 24/7 to gather and monitor intelligence that keeps our community safe. We are doing all we can with the resources allocated to us. We must continue to partner with one another throughout our community, to continue to be proactive instead of reactive,” says Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough.

On Tuesday, a gun was found on a student on campus at Reynolds High School. On September 8, a gun was also confiscated from a student at Parkland High School.

McManus says that any student who brings a firearm to a school’s campus will be suspended for 365 days, regardless of the reason. 

"I want to make it very clear that we will uphold these policies very strictly because guns do not belong on our campuses," she says. "Three of the four [guns] that have been found caused no harm, they could have and that's why we are taking this very seriously."

Follow WFDD's  Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news.

 

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