Concerns grow after staff injured breaking up fights, more weapons found on campus

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Guns, lockdowns prompt school safety concerns
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Hoke County school staff members were taken to a hospital for treatment after a brawl broke out.

HOKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Two high school school staff members in Hoke County were treated for minor injuries they received while breaking up a fight.

According to the Interim Superintendent, several students were involved in a fight on campus Monday morning. The School Resource Officers (SRO), other staff members and administrators responded to the area to break up the fight. While intervening to stop the fight, two staff members received minor injuries. Both were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Law enforcement agencies in Hoke County are investigating the incident and appropriate disciplinary and possible legal action could be taken, Rodny Shotwell said in an email to ABC11.

In the email, that was sent to parents, school leaders asked parents to remind their children about the importance of abiding by the rules and regulations in the Student Handbook and the consequences that go along with not obeying these rules.

Two school staff members were treated for minor injuries they received while breaking up a fight.

No other injuries have been reported.

The growing number of violent incidents and guns found in schools have prompted concerns from many.

Yolanda Johnson is a grandparent who has watched violence escalate and become more common.

"It doesn't surprise me. Because that's the society in which we live," said Johnson. "Yet just today, it was the incident in the school system with the teacher and a student. So it's an everyday occurrence that we just have to pray about."

Johnson's prayer is for the safety of her grandchildren.

She's not the only one concerned after several instances already this school year -- where students have brought guns to campus.

Anesto Newell is speaking out, too.

"I'm scared for my 12-year-old," he said.

On Friday, a seven-year-old student brought a .40 caliber gun to an elementary school in Rocky Mount. The student's uncle is now facing several charges in connection to that.

ALSO SEE: 7-year-old student found with .40 caliber gun on Rocky Mount school campus; uncle charged

On that same day, a firearm was found at a high school in Wakefield. It was later determined to be a BB gun. Earlier this month, another elementary-aged student brought a gun inside a Raleigh elementary school.

"I think of all of those kids, all of those kids could have been killed by that gun," Newell said.

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Dr. Anthony Smith is a mental health therapist with the Alase Center for Enrichment. He studies the behaviors of young people.

"I don't think it's kids being kids, I don't think that this is what we would call normal behavior," Smith said,

Smith said adults play a part.

"Parents and the adults in our life teach us how to resolve conflict. So certainly children as young as 2 and 3 years old will have conflict," Smith said. "But we teach how we resolve that conflict. How we talk things out how we express and use our words."

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