WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Leaders of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners emphasized safety, security and solutions as priorities for the joint meeting with the New Hanover County School Board Friday morning.
Monday’s shooting at New Hanover High School has raised questions about security on school campuses from students, staff, parents and the community.
“They brought a gun — a pistol when they should bring a pencil, you know, we are all horrified as parents and even more horrified as elected officials and as community members; this can’t happen,” said chairwoman of the NHC Board of Commissioners Julia Olson-Boseman.
Commissioners already commit about a third of the county budget to education and schools.
Any increased security measures may also end up coming out of the county’s pocket.
Olson-Boseman, who has a child in the school system, would support installing metal detectors at the schools to upgrade security.
“I absolutely want my child to go through a metal detector every day. My child is in middle school and I will bet you 100% today someone had a gun. I bet there is a gun in every high school in this county and probably every middle school and as a parent that is not okay with me.”
Commissioner Jonathan Barfield says putting metal detectors at the schools would be a challenge that would require answers to several questions first.
“What would the cost be and how would we implement putting in metal detectors at every door?” said Barfield. “Are you going to limit points of access, in entry and exit, to those schools? What would be the main entrances to the schools? Would we have enough SROs to man those doors? I think all of those are things that we will definitely talk about.”
While Friday’s meeting may be the first step in upgrading school security in the county, Olson-Boseman left no doubt on what the final outcome will be.
“We are going to find solutions to this and we are going to make sure guns don’t come in our schools anymore because one is enough. It is not acceptable and I’m not gonna stand for it not doing everything I possibly can to make sure this never happens again.”
Law enforcement will be present at the meeting Friday, which will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Board of Education Center.
With the state’s ruling for official public meetings, a notice must be posted 48 hours before it happens.
Crisis Intervention Resources:
- 24 Hour Crisis Chat online via https://www.trilliumhealthresources.org/for-individuals-families/crisis-services/integrated-family-services-crisis-chat
- Step 1: Click the “Chat with us” icon at the top of any of the pages on the Integrated Family Services
- Step 2: Complete and submit the brief pre-chat questions
If all chat specialists are busy assisting other visitors you will be asked to try the chat again in a half-hour. If the chat service is not open we encourage you to call IFS Mobile Crisis.
- IFS 24/7 Mobile Crisis Hotline at 1-866-437-1821
- RHA Mobile Crisis Team EAST – available 24/7/365. Call 1-844-709-4097
Wilmington Health Access for Teens (WHAT) of Coastal Horizons offers medical and mental health services for ages 4-24. They have Primary Care medical providers as well as therapists and Psychiatric Medication providers at their Oleander Drive office. At their Wellness Centers located within New Hanover, Ashley, Laney & Hoggard High Schools, they have both Medical Providers and Therapists. They are currently providing both in-office/school and virtual sessions. There will be a team of WHAT staff at the New Hanover HS Wellness Center to support any clients or parents who are seeking services. Students need legal guardian consent to be able to use the services, and this paperwork can be found on their website or picked up in any of their offices.
To schedule an appointment at any of the WHAT locations please call 910-790-9949.
For any Spanish speaking clients, the Clinica Latina office at 613 Shipyard Boulevard is staffed with bilingual therapists who are also available to support. To schedule an appointment with them, please call 910-343-0145
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has created a number of resources around school shootings which can be accessed here.
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