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Wed January 16, 2013
WSFC School System Delays Security Changes
The Winston-Salem Forsyth County School Board wants more information before initiating new security measures at its 79 school. Spokesman Theo Helm says last night, board members heard about several security options. “You know it would be another $3.5 million dollars to put SRO’s at every elementary school. To a $1.2 million dollars for a card access system where all the doors would be locked and you’d have to have a card to be buzzed to get in. To keeping all doors locked and issuing keys for $25,000.”
According to Helms, many of these options are similar to what was in place at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Already, area middle and high schools have armed SRO officers. But there are none at the district's 44 elementary schools. Helm says the best way to protect students, teachers and staff is through community support. “Last week, we had a student bring a gun to one of our schools. And the reason we were able to find out about that was a parent thought they heard something about it and called the school. 20 minutes of the school day starting, our school staff working with the SRO was able to determine who the student way, and confiscate the weapon before anything happened.” The North Carolina Department of Instruction just released its annual report of school crime and violence. In the 2011-2012 academic year, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system reported 1 incident of a firearm on campus. Two in 2010-2011; and Four the previous year. The board stressed before making any decisions, it wants some assurances that changes initiated actually keep students, teachers and staff safe.