The committee is made up of judges, law enforcement personnel, school administrators, and clergy.
The group discussed several themes related to school safety which included:
- Physical security
- Threat intelligence/Assessment
- School-Law Enforcement Partnerships
- Possible Statute Changes
Among the themes emerged a lengthy debate about arming teachers with guns -- a controversial topic that is often times debated following school shootings. "The teachers I've talked to, they don't want to be armed," said former Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison. "I personally don't like arming teachers. I'm open to ideas to what can we do to make schools safer."
The special committee is discussing arming teachers and other school staff with guns in response to recent school shootings. Most members are opposed. Some feel the move would be effective in keeping schools safe. pic.twitter.com/3cisItagZ5— DeJuan Hoggard (@DeJuanABC11) December 6, 2018
Leaders spent Thursday morning and afternoon debating language in school and law enforcement policy as well. "Imagine if North Carolina had a shooting and (didn't have) a plan in place," one member asked. Another member petitioned the group, "What is appropriate to come to Juvenile Services and what is appropriate to be handled as a school discipline problem."
Wake County parent Bolivia McDuffie is not comfortable with arming teachers with guns. Her daughter, Lundyn, was brutally attacked by a group of girls at Sanderson High School several months ago. "The school needs to work with the legal system to come up with some sort of plan as far as punishment." McDuffie also said and referenced in a video with ABC11 the lack of an SRO when her daughter was attacked. "I'm the one that called the police. I'm the one that called the ambulance," McDuffie added.
In response to arming teachers with guns, McDuffie said, "The day that I find out teachers are allowed to have guns in the classroom, (Lundyn) will never return to a public school ever...I don't want to see her stressed and depressed like she was."