WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — Whiteville City Schools Superintendent Kenny Garland stopped by Good Morning Carolina on Monday to discuss consolidation, school safety and more.
One of the big topics in Columbus County is consolidation. On Friday, we heard from Columbus County Schools Superintendent Alan Faulk about why their district thinks it may be a good idea. Superintendent Kenny Garland explained why Whiteville City Schools do not agree. Garland said he believes that a merger would create a significant loss of state and federal funding. He says county commissioners want the districts to participate in a study on the financial, educational and emotional impact of merging Columbus County and Whiteville City Schools.
Garland also addressed Friday’s school shooting in Texas.
“One of the things that I think of each time is if that were our campus, what could we do?” Garland said. “What can we do to prevent such acts of violence?”
He explained that administrators are asked to review their safety plans and try to learn from what happened. When it comes to adding metal detectors to schools, Garland said the school district should look at a variety of things in regards to student safety. He wants to see a change in mindset of the way they have a traditional school day, including policies for pick-up and drop-off as well as visitors entering the buildings.
Garland strongly agrees there is a need for more counselors and mental health professionals in schools. He hopes the General Assembly will provide some resources for the next school year.
Whiteville City Schools is currently also undergoing a new project at the high school. Garland explained there will be 71,000 feet of new construction with safety as a priority; however, the challenge is trying to hold classes on campus during construction. He said the construction should be done by January 2019.