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New Hanover Commission to consider plan for deputies at more schools

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Nearly a week after the shootings in Connecticut, the arrest of an Ashley High School student who allegedly started rumors of a gunman at school Friday is raising more questions about the safety of our schools.

Many parents and school leaders think this is the time to make changes. They have a few ideas in mind, and they want county leaders to listen.

Wednesday night, the New Hanover County Board of education called a special meeting to discuss ways to protect students. One possibility is having deputies stand guard at elementary schools. Now they need county commissioners to support the plan.

"Thirty, 40 years ago we were not talking about putting armed deputies in our public schools. It is a sad commentary, I think, on our culture," New Hanover County Commission Chair Woody White said. "But as leaders, we do not have the luxury of saying, 'Well it will solve itself.' It won't."

White says while deputies at schools may be a good idea, new safety measures do come at a price.

"The first obstacle is funding, and that is why I have spent the majority of my morning today and a large part of this week talking to the sheriff, the school board chairman, members of the school board and leaders from the beach towns and the city to see how we can share responsibility," White said.

White says deputies are not the only step toward safer schools.

"We also need to have folks look at our schools themselves," White said. "Can we replace doors with locked doors? Are there ways we can ingress and egress at some of our schools that would make it a lot safer to our kids?"

They are all questions White believes need to be answered as leaders consider how to best protect our schools.

White says commissioners recognize an immediate need to ensure student safety, but he encourages the public not to be too reactionary. He says this is a process that will require heavy thinking and time.

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Commissioners trump Sheriff on Safety??

I have kids in school. Getting them in and out in the AM/PM is loaded with red tape and difficult, but intended to improve safety. For now, deputies in schools would be helpful to ensure that students have some kind of protection. I understand that taking time to make sure we come up with the right safety solutions for our schools is good, but not doing anything in the mean time is unacceptable. The board of education deferred to the sheriff on this topic, and the sheriff said deputies in schools are the answer. I'm not sure how the commissioners justify that they trump the person elected by the county to oversee safety.

schools

Haveing a police officer at the schools might sound ok ,but there are things to think about before you might want to say ok to this ,, frist ,how many ways can someone get in a school ? if a gun man wants to get in ,he can breake a window to get in ,my thoughts are is putting in camra's all around the the schools , two persons on all of them per schools and training , how to pay for it ,,, well we do have nclotto ,, some parts of that money is to be going to the schools ,, so know ones taxes will go up .. its a thought for now .. and the people who do get traind for the job ,, they will be haveing a gun on them at all times .... i really think this might work and to be a safer place too ...

If the Board of Education...

is successful in getting a deputy in each school, the Board will create a new position: Assistant Superintendent of Safety...then the Board will ask for more money...and more money on top of the money they're going to ask for in the form of a bond issue.

It sure did not take

It sure did not take Brunswick County long to make a decision. Officials met over the weekend following the Newtown tragedy and on Monday morning, deputies were in the elementary schools. Thanks to Brunswick County officials who put the safety of children first.