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New Hanover County leaders are hoping to keep more kids in class and less in trouble.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Officials came together today to sign the Inter-Agency Governance Agreement on the Handling of School Offenses.

The goal is to keep more kids in class and less in jail.

“Being in school is where they need to be,” says Corporal J. D. Covil, SRO at Ronald-Grise Middle School.

Some say today it was a turning point for all New Hanover County schools.

“This is a historic day,” said Chief District Court Judge J. H. Corpening, II. “This is the first agreement like this in North Carolina.”

This agreement is to address school behavior when and where it happens instead of criminalizing that behavior.

“We are really trying to end with involvement with law enforcement on minor offenses,” said Corpening.

Minor offenses can be handled within the classroom by teachers and administrators.

“If they are becoming a danger to this campus, the safety of others is now jeopardize,” said Ronald-Grise Principal Dr. Sherry Pinto. “It certainly doesn’t preclude us from moving forward.”

In serious situations, officials will do what is necessary but the agreement clarifies what is a major or minor issue.

“Charging kids and them being out of school, suspension, it just leads them to be at home, be bored, and to get in trouble,” said Cpl. Covil. “So our goal is to work together and to make sure our kids are in school and getting that education in a safe environment.”

Law enforcement will intervene when it involves weapons, drugs, battery, or communicating threats.

“Law enforcement is there for safety, for security, for building relationships with the students not to criminalize student behavior,” says Corpening.

Chief District Court Judge J. H. Corpening, II was at the forefront to getting this in place.

“We are going to have to continue to deal with the kids that scare us, the kids that do stuff that is really really bad, but in terms of the kids that just make us mad this is going to be very effective,” said Corpening.

The agreement was signed by 13 officials and is officially in effect for the next three years.


Comment on this Story

  1. Okie Finokie

    We have a generation of “entitled” young people. They feel they have a right to do and say whatever they please. They believe the world owes them a $300,000 college education. Go to college with a nice apartment, drive a new BMW, eat like a king at restaurants, and drink like a pro. All on the taxpayer dollar because they can’t pay back student loans. When a high school student acts up, such as the one who was recently tossed to the floor by a police officer, it’s always the officer’s fault, in the eyes of the media. That student disobeyed all authority and created a situation to fuel the anti-cop movement. The cell phones were rolling video, but most seemed to have left out what led up to the incident, most often the case. If we don’t want police to touch unruly students, let them sit there until their momma can come in and take them home. Then leave the brats at home. Let the sympathetic mothers home school their angels.

    1. Gruntlip McGerkan

      Ditto Okie!!! You should be a Charter Member on the School Board.
      What’s most important “now” in that event in SC is…there were cellphones filming this. Simply an illegal act to begin with. Peoples word no longer has meaning…but videos are the new defense. As you mentioned…what lead up to this event with the student in Columbia…is simply not there on video.
      I can take a video of a dog walking, and make it look like there’s Palm trees on Mars, with that same dog walking in the foreground.
      (Just saying)

      This so called support of entitlement of *breaking the rules* by cellphone use in school by students (IMO) will become their Victory at the loss of those that created this rule, created in regards to a better education by leaving their “Toys” at home. From recent events, it looks like the shell has cracked in their favor of winning with defiance, when they should have lost. But if one loses…the rest have too as well. In this case, the system of obeying lost…and is broken.

      But apparently, students can not survive without “one” in their hand or pocket. It’s as though this is what enables their legs to move them from place to place. This sounds cruel to say this about students, but in all fairness to them…a high percentage of working adults have set the stage to be just as guilty…and a high percentage of those adults, are the “Rule Makers” themselves.

      It’s not about the availability of making a phone call anytime you need to…it’s more of a Huge object, to keep people from making eye contact (with other humans) anywhere/anytime. Notice people crossing an intersection walking…half of them are texting and paying no attention to where they’re headed, or whom they’re passing…i.e. if traffic is coming at them. If someone were to yell to them…”Lookout!!”…they’d assume it was for someone else and not them.>
      Another rule which needs to be implemented…no cellphone use while crossing the street. But people would ignore it…and authorities wouldn’t enforce it…and you’re back to Square One…defiance of rules for the sake of entitlement. “Don’t stick your hand in the fire” was created for a reason!

      I heard a neighbors “4 year old daughter” arguing in the yard 2 days ago with her Mother, demanding an IPhone. That’s how this world sees itself anymore (now even with the Kindergarden population)…as a non functioning race, unless there’s an electronic gadget telling them what to do/where to go/and how often to wash their bathroom towel!

      See how long that analogy were to make it on Social Media sites. If not
      deleted….buried in the Pop Up Ads of
      the latest…Farm Tractor deals!

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