Teachers need to have more authority when it comes to school safety, Wake County Sheriff says

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Governor Roy Cooper is calling for renewed efforts to keep guns out of North Carolina high schools.

"I am heartbroken to hear about today's school violence that has taken the life of a high school student in Matthews, and my family is praying for this community," Gov. Cooper said in a statement Monday after a student was shot by a fellow student at school. "I have been in touch with local officials to offer condolences and state support as needed. As we get more information it is critical that we come together to do everything in our power to prevent these incidents from happening and keep guns out of our schools,"

The governor assembled a special committee on school safety following the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison is the co-Chair of that committee.

He said teachers, principals, and counselors will often shy away from reporting when they find a weapon on campus.

"This has been one of my pet peeves we have got to get them on board with us. The teachers have got to have more authority," said Harrison. "There's a lot of reservations there because of so many laws about privacy."

Harrison is also pushing the installation of cameras inside of classrooms. He expects that the committee will present this recommendation in December.

ABC11 reached out to the state's largest school district and asked about metal detectors. The Wake County district said they have them, but they're only used as needed. In addition, they said that metal detectors are not placed at every building entrance.

The latest data from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction showed in one year, there has been a 23 percent rise in assaults involving a weapon in schools statewide.

Here's a look at some of most reported crimes in North Carolina schools.

Possession of a weapon other than a firearm:

2016-17: 2,745
2015-16: 2,746

Possession of a firearm or powerful explosive:
2016-17: 105
2015-16: 118
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