Local lawmakers meet in Raleigh for first committee meeting on school safety

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –  Lawmakers met in a day long committee session to find out how to keep schools around North Carolina safe.

The select committee was created in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Lawmakers call today setting the foundation to improve school safety.

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“It just reemphasized the importance of mental health issues,” said Rep. Ted Davis (R).

Lawmakers were schooled on some staggering statistics. A key one coming from the state School Psychology Association showing right now one in every 2100 students have access to a psychologist. They say the ratio should be one in 700 students.

“We need to address, seriously address the needs that schools need to have that would address the mental health issues of their students and we need to back that up with the proper funding,” said Davis.

We reached out to local lawmakers and committee members Ted Davis and Holly Grange.
Davis and Grange say mental health and security were the bulk of what was discussed.

“My big takeaway is that we need an SRO in every school and we need to find a way to fund that,” said Rep. Grange (R).

Davis added that the committee did discuss the possibility of veterans or military members coming on as school resource officers. Both add that some new funding measures could come in the short session, but a broad law covering all of the issues will take time.

“We want to do it right,” said Grange. “As opposed to doing it quickly. You know we, we already have a lot of good things in place already in North Carolina we just need to make sure that the resources are provided so that those things are successful.”

One topic that was not brought up was arming teachers.

The subject could come up later on, but lawmakers doubt that’s something the committee will see as a solution.