Loading...
Judging by the number of folks charged with driving under influence I am guessing the penalty is rather light. Of...

Shooting demonstrates challenge facing schools

North Carolina School Shooting-3
1 of 3

Emergency personnel respond to a shooting at Butler High School in Matthews, N.C., on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. A student shot and killed a fellow student during a fight in a crowded school hallway Monday, officials said, prompting a lockdown and generating an atmosphere of chaos and fear as dozens of parents rushed to the school to make sure their children were safe. (Cassie Cope/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

North Carolina School Shooting-2
North Carolina School Shooting-1
Loading…

Friday, November 2, 2018

It’s natural to think of worst case scenarios when such a scenario is right before your eyes. So it was Monday when authorities said a Butler High School student was shot and killed by another student during a dispute in a school hallway. The death appeared to be the first fatal shooting inside a CMS school, but it revived a debate in the CMS school community about the use of metal detectors to protect our children.

That’s an understandable consideration — and not just because of Monday’s tragic death. CMS has a gun problem. The district has accounted for 20 percent of the guns reported on school grounds in North Carolina despite having just 10 percent of the state’s total enrollment, the Observer’s Ann Doss Helms reported. That likely contributed to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney recommending last year that CMS start “wanding” everyone who enters any school.

CMS Superintendent Clayton Wilcox resisted that measure, in part because of legitimate logistical concerns that include having thousands of students wanded each morning at each high school, as well as students and others who move between buildings on all CMS campuses throughout each day. (CMS has, in the past, randomly used metal detectors at schools, although it’s unclear if and how much that happens now.)

There are other reasons to be wary of the regular use of metal detectors on campus. Several studies have shown that metal detectors at schools have a negative impact on students’ perception of safety and increase their sense of disorder at the school. Research shows such measures also can have a negative impact on student performance, especially at already struggling schools. Plus, money for metal detectors might have to come from other school resources.

Also, there is this reality: Wanding students might improve the chances of keeping guns from being brought into CMS schools, but it won’t stop the student in a parking lot with a gun and a dispute to settle. It won’t stop someone with mental illness who might have a weapon outside a school entrance. It won’t stop the worst case scenario.

This is among the most difficult decisions Wilcox and the CMS Board of Education must consider, because it comes with the weight of students’ lives, a burden Wilcox clearly showed as he stood outside Butler on Monday morning. The superintendent said he and the district will review safety plans and procedures, and the district is already embarking on a $9 million safety initiative that includes giving all faculty “panic alert cards” that would let them notify administrators and police about urgently dangerous situations. It should be noted that the school system also has been attentive to bullying issues that can lead to violence and appeared to be linked to Monday’s shooting.

“Perhaps we need to do some things, get a little more aggressive,” Wilcox said.

That’s a natural response to a tragedy, and it’s a calculation many of us similarly make in other parts of our lives. How much are we willing to sacrifice to protect ourselves, and how much will that shield us from the worst that can happen? CMS should continue to look for ways to improve safety, but we believe the cost of metal detectors each day at each school is not worth the incomplete protection they would provide.

The Charlotte Observer

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

April 16, 2019

The announcement that Kirstjen Nielsen was stepping down as Secretary of Homeland Security was sudden, but it wasn’t really a surprise. Never a favorite of President Trump, her days became numbered when her patron in the administration, Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, resigned in December.…

Homeland Security Secretary-1

April 15, 2019

The day before his indictment was announced last week, Robin Hayes said he was stepping down as chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party because of health issues. The next day, the public learned that what was driving Hayes from office wasn’t only his ailments, but the ill health of…

Republican Chairman

April 13, 2019

You know the game by now: A call comes into your mobile phone. A number pops up on your screen. You don’t recognize it. Your first instinct is to decline it, but what if it’s your child’s school? The auto repair guy? Something else? It’s a guessing game, and we’re the…

Kicking Robocalls-2

April 09, 2019

Walter Ginter began using heroin in the early 1970s while serving in the Army. By 1977, desperate to kick the habit, he turned to daily doses of methadone, a synthetic opioid that eases withdrawal and decreases cravings. The treatment worked.

“I have a good life today,” says Ginter, 69,…

Opioid Lawsuit New York

April 08, 2019

One of the first things we teach our children is to never, ever get into a stranger’s car.

In the age of Uber and Lyft, we all need to relearn that lesson. Along with: The later you’re out at night, the greater your chances of running into the wrong person. And: It’s always safer…

Uber Traffic Analysis

April 07, 2019

If you care about safe water for all, you should be celebrating the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s decision to order Duke Energy to excavate coal ash from its power plant sites in the state. It was the right call for communities that for too long have been vulnerable to…

Duke Energy Coal Ash

April 07, 2019

As many of your readers are aware, State Treasurer Dale Folwell has chosen to forge ahead with his proposal to significantly alter the reimbursement strategy for health care providers who offer care under the State Health Plan. Citing concerns with the State Health Plan’s insolvency,…

April 06, 2019

Belatedly, it occurred to the Trump administration that closing the U.S.-Mexico border, as the president threatened, posed the risk of paralyzing manufacturing assembly lines, leaving grocery shelves bare and throwing the U.S. economy into a tailspin, if not outright recession. Bad idea.

So now the…

Trump Immigration

April 02, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court heard a lot last week about what is wrong with the way North Carolina’s congressional districts are laid out. There were no questions about the bad or the good.

The job of the nine justices isn’t about that — only what is or isn’t constitutional. It…

Supreme Court Redistricting-1

April 01, 2019

Picture this. The nation’s children are drinking on average what amounts to a bathtub full of sugary beverages every year. That’s 30 gallons of soda, sports drinks and probably the biggest healthy drink fraud of all, fruit juice.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart…

Big Sodas Tax Fight-4
75 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 8
        Next Page»   Last Page»