Staff at McDougle Middle School in Carrboro stay home after reports of a threat

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Monday, March 4, 2024
Staff at McDougle Middle School in Carrboro organize sickout over safety concerns
This all comes after a student allegedly threatened staff last week.

CARRBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- There is talk about safety at McDougle Middle School.

Many parents are picking up their kids earlier than usual on Monday. That's because they received a message from the school's principal Chris Horne the previous day.

He said McDougle is expecting a higher number of staff absences than usual on Monday.

This is following an incident where a student made a threatening comment last week in front of a staff member. Parents were notified about the incident. Authorities said that no weapons were involved.

In Sunday's message, Horne said:

"All told, approximately 15 staff members are expected to be out at this time...We know some of the staff absences relate to the school safety matter that was addressed and brought to your attention last week."

CHCSS spokesperson Andy Jenk said despite the absences, McDougle Middle is open on Monday, and it is safe.

"I feel confident in the school administration and the teachers," one parent said. "I know the kids are safe, and I appreciate the teachers who are there. So, my kids are staying in school."

Jenks said the school system has a safety plan that the district administration has reviewed and vetted. This plan is already in action.

They take the concerns of any staff who are concerned about safety seriously, Jenks said, and it's also important to listen to what the school community is telling them.

"It's up to us to create that environment where trust exists between all parties involved, that the appropriate steps have been taken," he said. "And that we're looking out, not just for the best interest of a particular student, but also the best interests of everybody else."

They are addressing the issue directly with the student and their family, he added.

"There's never a magic email that resolves everyone's concerns at once," he said. "This is about relationships. It's about trust and about conveying to a larger community that school is safe."

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