WHITEVILLE -- Columbus County high schools were just about back to normal today after rumors of gun violence circulated like wildfire yesterday. People in the Whiteville community say in no uncertain terms that gang activity is to blame. Whiteville City Schools Superintendent Randy Shaver admits there is gang presence on campus and is working on a plan to try and get rid of it. "I think to deny that there is a presence of gangs here is to deny that we have a problem and we don't want to do that," Shaver said. "I see signs of gang activity. They mark their territory in parts of town." Whiteville police let NewsChannel 3 ride along Tuesday to see evidence of gang activity throughout the area. Whiteville Police Department Agent Chris Dudley said, "This is a gang sign. CB -- the circle boys, they're a so-called gang out in the county." Some Columbus County residents blame Monday's school gun scare on gangs. School leaders acknowledge the problem. "Anytime that gang activity rises to the levels that were seeing now that represents a real threat." In an effort to get rid of gangs in Columbus County leaders are planning a summit to inform, educate and get feedback from members of the community about the gang problem. "I don't know what the solution, is but I do know that we need to design one if we're going to make sure that our children remain safe." School leaders say making sure kids don't get involved in gangs in the first place may be the best thing they can do. "The students who are more dangerous are those who pose as gangs members, are on the periphery of a gang and who want to impress those folks." Whiteville school superintendent randy shaven says he hopes to hold the gang summit in the next two or three weeks. He is asking local police chiefs, the Columbus County sheriff, the Whiteville mayor, local town leaders and members of the community to attend. We will let you know when a date has been decided.
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