Work session held by New Hanover County to discuss safety against violence in schools

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — Three weeks after a shooting at New Hanover High School, and two weeks after New Hanover County Commissioners passed a motion allocating up to $350 million for school safety, the county held a work session today to discuss safety goals.

The work session was closed to the public, but meeting participants included county and school district staff, law enforcement partners, and principals and teachers from several schools.

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Officials say they discussed possible investments the $350 million dollars will help fund, that are needed for safety on school campuses. They heard from those directly impacted in the school system and the community, to identify what is leading to violence in the schools.

“When we think about security, today we talked about the social and emotional well-being of individuals and  how do we be proactive before they get to the school,” said Dr. Charles Foust, New Hanover County Schools superintendent.

New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet, says he feels confident in the goals identified in the work session.

“We did walk away with 6 overall priorities. Three in the area of hardscape improvements, but also area of improvement as it relates to the people-centric things that we do in the classroom,” said Chris Coudriet, New Hanover County manager.

District Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust says the goal is to maximize investments in overall security, ensure the community is aware of resources available, and enhance parent support.

“You’re not only talking about students from pre-k to 12th grade. We’re talking about parents we’re talking about grandparents we’re talking about, –you know, communities as a whole in general versus our school community,” said Foust.

New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet says the county does not have an exact timeline for when investments will begin. He says he plans to share the six priorities with the county board of commissioners at their meeting on Monday.