Shanahan talks school safety in Cumberland County

April 30, 2013 8:02:20 PM PDT
A local school district rocked by gun violence last year had an opportunity Tuesday evening to weigh in on how to keep schools safer.

State Secretary of Public Safety Kieran Shanahan spoke at Douglas Byrd High School as part of a statewide tour.

Steven Brooks is a senior at Douglas Byrd, and like a lot of classmates he worries about trouble on school grounds.

"There is a lot of skipping classes in school. Students skip classes to do a lot of things," said Brooks. "They bring drugs to school. They skip class to smoke. They skip class to fight whatever."

The topic was safer schools, and there was no shortage of talk about how bad school violence has gotten. According to Department of Public Instruction figures, Cumberland County school violence and crime is above the state average.

The numbers worry Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler.

"I don't know if we are going to solve this type of problem in the school," said Butler. "It's going to take a much bigger force that we got in the schools."

Violence hit home at Cape Fear High School in Oct. 2011 when 15-year-old Catilyn Abercrombie was shot and wounded by another student who investigators say took a .22 caliber rifle to school to shoot a classmate.

Cumberland County School Superintendent Dr. Frank Till told the group there are no easy answers. Shanahan said teachers with guns is no answer.

"I think that fundamentally, the governor and I would agree wholeheartedly arming teachers is not what we want in schools," said Shanahan.

Shanahan says the one common theme he's heard at seven community forums is the parental involvement.

"The one really definitive groundbreaking thing that could happen is if we could get parents, especially dads, back involved with the lives of their children," said Shanahan.

Shanahan has two more community forums scheduled. From the comments and recommendations he's heard, his department will draft a plan to help make schools across the state.

See It On TV | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | Send us photos
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook


Load Comments