New Hanover Co. School Board pushes for deputy in every elementary school

Tags: , , , , ,

Submitted: Thu, 12/20/2012 - 4:58am
Updated: Thu, 12/20/2012 - 6:31pm

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — In light of the tragedy in Connecticut the New Hanover County Board of Education says it has received numerous questions from parents regarding school safety in the past few days. Tonight, the board called a special work session to discuss school safety.

Wednesday night’s special work session began with a moment of silence in memory of the lives lost at Sandy Hook.

Board members heard recommendations from New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon.

“My recommendation,” McMahon said, “would be 24 deputies to cover our elementary schools. I want the community to know that since Monday, since this happened on Friday, this has been the top priority.”

Based on the recommendation, the board unanimously passed a motion to ask the county commission for funding to implement the plan.

One parent I spoke with says she agrees every elementary school should have a deputy.

“Increasing the law enforcement presence in our school we’re allowing students and staff to interact with law enforcement in a very positive way in their very first, hopefully last and only, interaction,” said Stephanie Kraybill.

But while everyone agreed you cannot put a price on student safety, the measure would come at a cost.

“At the same time I think it’s important that people recognize that we have addressed it,” said board member Ed Higgins. “We continue to address it. But like so many things… money.”

One thing everyone seemed to agree on is that making sure students are safe at school is a top priority.

“It’s such a shame that it’s come to this,” said Sheriff McMahon. “But this may be our new norm and we will do everything that we can to keep the children safe.”

School superintendent Tim Markley says the board plans to have a proposal drafted and sent to the county commission as early as Thursday.


  • Kim says:

    I strongly agree there should be at least one deputy in each elementary school. My oldest child is an elementary school teacher and I am concerned for her as well as the students. I am also concerned for my child who attends Laney High School. My 14 year-old brought to my attention that most of the entrances to this school are kept unlocked and unguarded. Two deputies on campus can’t be everywhere. I question why the school board doesn’t promote safer environments for all schools by having one available entrance which has a metal detector and a guard. All the other doors should be exit only.

  • Guest2769 says:

    How about a deputy in every home? It was not the type of gun, or the gun at all. It was an irresponsible gun owner who had unsecured guns in her home that were available to an unstable person. Instead of regulation, the conversation needs to be about education. And then maybe people would be buying gun safes off the shelf, instead of the guns themselves because they fear a knee-jerk reaction by the government.

  • Guest2929 says:

    Agreed completely. Mass killings, violent crime, homicides have all gone down when you listen to the facts and not just hype. It was a terrible thing that happened in CT, but the School Board has gotten carried away by hype and spent over $1M, apparently, that doesn’t need to be spent. And I’m guessing that’s probably going to be a reoccurring cost.

  • Vog46 says:

    Is that the most acceptable thing that could happen is that assault rifles sales be banned(again).
    We, as gun owners, should embrace this concept.
    If we don’t the knee jerk reaction may be to ban automatic weapons.
    This would impact far more people.
    Right now MOST people favor more regulation so the trick here is to make it as palatable as possible to current gun owners.
    I would suggest an approach from BOTH sides.
    Ban any future assault rifle sales.
    Any person convicted of a crime while using an assault rifle have automatic sentencing with the death penalty for killing anyone with that assault rifle.
    Now you’ve placated John Q public and put the onus on criminals who may have that assault rifle.
    We get to keep 99% of our weapons – and a criminal who uses an assault rifle gets hammered….


  • Carol Kramer says:

    Rather than have a deputy in every school, might it not be better to deputize 10 teachers/administrators (number would vary) in every school who would receive specialized gun and security training from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s office? In addition to this, the Sheriff’s Department would have a specially designated/trained team that is always on call for immediate dispatch to schools in an emergency and would co-train with the school deputies on a regular basis. The school personnel would receive a stipend for their special duty from the Sheriff’s department. I would at least float this idea with NHCS teachers/administrators and the sheriff’s department to get their feedback.

    Unfortunately, one armed deputy at each school probably would not prevent a Sandy Hook school type event.

    I happened to be at my son’s elementary school during a lock down 5 years ago and was in his kindergarten classroom. The children were terrified by this exercise, especially when the police rattled the door trying to get in/making sure it was locked. I think that the Board of Education needs to clearly communicate what a lock down drill is all about so that parent’s know what their kids go through. Advocating for safety is one thing, but let’s not terrify our children in the process.

  • Vog46 says:

    I can agree with this to a point however where would a teacher conceal his or more importantly her weapon? A purse in a desk does no good. An unlocked purse leads to potential student access. The FBI Studied this years ago and determined that womens weapons are harder to conceal. Men typically wear jackets…
    Also – there’s no psychological testing done for teachers – they are susceptible to the same disorders as any person is- think about the teachers that have affairs with students or those that are depressed or suffer anxiety?????
    Finally according to most reports – the Principle and school psychologist ran towards the shooter to try to stop him – the teachers hid in closets with their students. Behind a door with kids is no place to have a weapon – especially when a rifle that powerful could shoot through that door easily.
    An officer and pass throuugh metal detector might be good enough.
    But remember this situation in Ct – the shooter had the element of surprise and that would negate any weapons in someones holster. He also had enough firepower to shoot through doors and walls. That rifle has a muzzle velocity of about 3,000 ft/sec. Than hand guns 1100 ft/sec.

    The situation in Ct was another in a long line of incidents where irresponsible gun owners lead to people getting access to guns that shouldn’t have been able to……..or where people who shouldn’t be able to buy have bought them.


  • Guest112211 says:

    Take about 5% to 10% of the inflated salaries of most of the administrators for both the school board as well as the county and you will have more than emough funding for several officers.

  • NO says:

    The principals, asst. principals and teachers, at some of the middle and high schools create major drama and over-react and ‘Tag’ certain students even out of school by constantly bad-mouthing them to the on-site resource officers, sometimes just because they don’t like the student or their parents. There is no 1 officer who could stop a shooter who is wearing bulletproof body armor, or they could have stopped the Oregon mall shooter last week. There are always cops in the food courts and walking security in the big malls. It does not matter and has no effect or deterrant to stop a genius IQ shooter having a mental breakdown carrying a gun.

  • Guest1 says:

    If they are trained, Clean record, and willing to do so why not just let teachers carry? AT LEAST give them the opportunity to.
    concealed carry classes are cheap, you get great training, and can save live.

    As for hiring 24 more deputies I think that would be good for the Sheriff Office, Job creation, and overall a great idea.

  • Guest7969 says:

    Explain to me WHY you were given the RIGHT to bare arms.

  • Guest461 says:

    There are many ways to obscure a concealed weapon. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on the person, simply accessible. There are many ways to successfully accomplish this.

    The principle and the psychologist BRAVELY ran toward the shooter to stop him, even wthout any formitable defense! If they had’ve had a weapon and training, they most likey could’ve stopped it right then and there! ANYONE without protection will tend to hide from a gunman, that’s called self-presrervation. Put a weapon in their hands, teach them how to use it and they come out from behind that closet with the authority they need to halt the emergency right then.

    Psychological testing is not required for LEO’s to maintain a weapon and/or the responsible holders of the CCP either. Research into the applicants backgound includes any sort of admission to a state mental facility. Of all people to point out, do you really believe that LEO’s are incapable of anxiety or depression? Hardly!

    The firepower of a weapon can easily be overcome with the skill of an opposing shooter! It is highly unlikely that 20 year old punk could hold a hat to someone trained to take him out. I’d rather be missed by a 30.06, than hit with a .22 cal. any day of the week!

    Lastly, with the Conn. incident, the biggest area of irrensponsibility in addition to inadvertant weapon access, was the mothers fear of labeling her son’s mental condition. He needed treatment…she avoided it. Happens all the time. THAT is what needs to come to a stop!!!

  • Citizen of the Republic says:

    In your post the first subject was women’s purses in a desk.

    There are low cost gun safes that operate with fingerprint technology, allowing entry only to the person that has programmed his fingerprint into the safe. Cost $200 to $600. Secure permanent installation costs would be comparable.

    Second, “there’s no psychological testing done for teachers”, this is true.

    However, a deranged teacher could easily transport a weapon into a classroom, even with a resource officer, and a metal detector. I’ve personally seen this done by people at the courthouse where it is supposed to be an exit, but people use it as an entrance. They just wait for the door to be opened.

    Third, ” the teachers hid in closets with their students. Behind a door with kids is no place to have a weapon – especially when a rifle that powerful could shoot through that door easily”.

    I would think that anyone, facing an intruder, would rather have some defense, rather than none. We have seen the results of “no defense”, but there are news accounts every week, of a concealed carry, or armed homeowner defending themselves and others successfully because they have relied on themselves for protection rather than wait 10 mins for help to arrive.

    Finally, the fact that once the shooter saw officers, he committed suicide rather than be taken alive.

    These cowards that prey on children are no match for a determined gun owner, that has been properly trained. Resistance is not futile, but you have to resist.

    Also, the fact that resistance would buy time, which is the second most important factor, for law enforcement to arrive and intervene, would have saved lives at that particular school.

    It is a complicated problem. But as US Senator Barbara Boxer stated “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in, I would have done it”.

    And there lies the problem. Make no mistake, a ban on semi-automatics which contain rifles and handguns, would be a stepping stone away from total gun bans. Her own words prove it. School protection can be accomplished without infringing on the 2nd amendment and the rights of others.

    And it can be accomplished without millions and millions of dollars.
    And it can be done safely, and with common sense.

  • Vog46 says:

    If the weapon is not on the person but accessible it’s then accessible to the students – not a good situation. Concealment by a woman is possible but harder.
    I agree the principle and psychologist were brave – hell they are hero’s in my mind but to run towards an assault weapon with a hand gun is not such a smart idea – it would take years of training for any Principle male or female to achieve that level of weapons accuracy. Been there, done that.
    Remember the shooter didn’t say anything to anyone he had the element of surprise – with an assault rifle. He didn’t have to be a good shot. But a teacher with a hand gun AGAINST an assault rifle? Sorry that teacher loses 99% of the time. And the level of training YOU are talking about takes years and years to reach and these folks already have full time jobs.
    LEOs are monitored by their Superiors for stress in most LE agencies especially the big ones. In Ct they probably weren’t but then again teachers aren’t monitored at all. Want one of them to put his gun to his head in front of the children? Nah didn’t think so.
    I agree the Mother was irresponsible with those guns. She should not have had THAT MANY in that house – the more you have the bigger the potential carnage will be – she proved that to be true.
    I’m beginning to think that an LEO in the school is a good idea when school is out you have an extra officer for patrolling and I have no problem with that. I would also add walk through metal detectors at entrances, to take some pressure off the LEO.
    But arming a teacher is a bad idea because they will not reach the level of proficiency needed for years – so put that LEO there. A uniform is also a great deterrent.


  • Guestcb11 says:

    Bring the Deputies into the schools. Public & private. It sure beats the alt opton of being unprepared for the idiots out there. Employee the Veterans and place them in Schools. I don’t care how it’s done but safety needs to be increased & our children kept safe. Glad that NHC is taking a stp to do this!!

  • Challengetheworld says:

    We cannot prevent every type of crime but rather than waiting for 10 officers to respond, having one in the facility is a no brainer. Cut out a park somewhere in the county, get rid of something that is non-public safety oriented and pay for these officers.

    Second, the country of every kind of gun is “ok” must stop. We allowed this situation to happen by allowing the access to weapons without proper process and evaluation. If you want to own a gun, fine, you must go through a process of evaluation.

    You want to drive a car? You have to take a test. You want to own a gun? You have to take a test. No more same day purchases for guns of any type. Liberal/Conservative I don’t care. A dead class of children is enough wake up call to see we need to ask countries with lower crime rates what we are doing WRONG.

  • Guest705 says:

    As things stand now I would like to see a deputy in each school. With a lockdown system and a deputy a shooter won’t get as far and may be detered altogether. A well trained professional would be the person to post there and keep guns out of the hands of the other adults. We do what we need to to make people feel safe until we as a nation decide how to deal with this issue.

    If children didn’t have allergies I’d love to see an officer with a dog posted at every elementary school.

  • Morgan's Mom says:

    What about PRE-K? Does anyone know if that even crossed their minds? My daughter’s school (which was not chosen by me- it was chosen by the state because it is a state funded program) is not in a great area in town. It is near New Hanover Regional Medical Center, as we all know that area is high in crime. I would like to see ALL SCHOOLS treated the same way with security, not just grade schools. 4 and 5 year olds need to be protected too!

    A very concerned mommy!

Leave a Reply