SALISBURY – Following a Wednesday night time taking pictures on the Dale’s Sporting Goods/Sam Moir Christmas Classic at Catawba College, local leaders say they’re taking steps to stop an analogous incident from taking place sooner or later.
The Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education is predicted to meet to discuss subsequent steps. Chair Dean Hunter mentioned he’ll name a gathering to discuss subsequent steps quickly, however didn’t give a particular date when talking throughout a information convention on Thursday.
Hunter mentioned the board intends to do all the things it could, and there ought to be zero tolerance for exercise like Wednesday’s taking pictures.
“I think we all agree that our schools should be safe and parents shouldn’t have to worry when they send their kids to school or school events,” Hunter mentioned.
Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes mentioned there is no such thing as a indication the incident might bleed into faculties, however the division and local companies are working with faculties to guarantee the primary day again on Tuesday is regular.
Stokes mentioned the division has a superb relationship with the district and that faculty sources officers are essentially the most direct line of communication with the district. The Youth Services Bureau additionally facilitates discussions with SROs about what is going on on campus.
County Board of Commissioners Chair Greg Edds mentioned he was instantly referred to as by Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten on Wednesday when the taking pictures occurred and leaders started talking in regards to the incident. Edds mentioned he met with Commissioners Vice Chair Jim Greene, District Attorney Brandy Cook, Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander, county and metropolis managers, Auten and Stokes to discuss the problem.
Rowan-Salisbury Schools educators and directors held a number of conferences Thursday to discuss the incident, starting with a security assembly between Superintendent Tony Watlington, some cupboard members, district interim Athletic Director Rick Roseman and Safety and Risk Manager Rick Towell. Meetings adopted that included highschool principals and district athletic administrators.
Watlington mentioned suggestions on the way forward for the Sam Moir Christmas event, the rest of which was cancelled after the taking pictures, in addition to different security suggestions, will likely be mentioned on the yet-to-be-scheduled Board of Education assembly.
“We talked about several safety enhancements we want to share with the Board of Education, to include lots of options from the feasibility of wanding and metal detectors as appropriate,” Watlington mentioned.
Watlington mentioned one district highschool has steel detectors and the district has the capability to use wand steel detectors for contests.
He mentioned college useful resource officers are current for each athletic contest and the district usually has extra legislation enforcement officers current as effectively.
The basketball event was hosted at Catawba College. The faculty’s director of communications, Jodi Bailey, mentioned there have been no steel detectors on the entrance to the occasion and the school has by no means used detectors for its personal occasions. For the Sam Moir event, Catawba largely capabilities as a lessor moderately than a main organizer.
An electronic mail to the campus community from Catawba President David Nelson mentioned the campus is sparsely populated and college students who remained on campus by way of break have been contacted to guarantee their security. The message famous there have been Catawba and contractor workers working the occasion in addition to workers and alumni who attended, although none have been injured.
“We will implement any necessary measures so that our campus is a safe environment for our students, faculty, and staff, and for guests at Catawba College,” Nelson mentioned within the emailed message. “We will continue to work with our colleagues at Rowan-Salisbury Schools as well as other organizations regarding safety at events held on our campus.”
While a lot of the dialogue amongst community and faculty leaders Thursday centered across the fast future, there was additionally speak about discovering an answer to youth violence in Rowan County.
“I think a broader issue is how are we going to solve the broader issue of — I call them children because I’m a grandmother myself — but young people deciding to resolve any kind of conflict with that method,” Mayor Alexander mentioned. “It’s very concerning. I hope that we can come together as a community and find solutions.”
One answer, Alexander mentioned, might be the creation of a process pressure to address youth violence.
Stokes talked about a number of initiatives already employed by the division which might be designed to curb violence, together with the Cease Fire program. The program is a joint initiative with the Salisbury-Rowan NAACP and makes use of knowledge to address gun violence in particular areas of the community.
Gemale Black, president of the Salisbury-Rowan NAACP, mentioned the community wants to assist already established initiatives like Cease Fire.
“We have a ceasefire program that’s going on, let’s buy into it,” Black mentioned. “It’s something that’s already established. Let’s talk about it. People want to react, but ceasefire is there to be proactive.”
Black can also be a part of a brand new initiative referred to as Uplift Academy, which is a brand new youth intervention initiative designed to fight gang tradition, affect and recruitment in local faculties. The group was based not too long ago and is planning to quickly host a retreat to present at-threat youth the chances that exist outdoors of violence and prison exercise.
Former Salisbury City Councilman Kenny Hardin informed the Post a break is required from present strategies used to stop violence. Hardin mentioned the Cease Fire program is “pointless” and “failed” whereas insisting extra drastic measures are obligatory, together with funding within the metropolis’s marginalized communities.
Edds requested dad and mom to play an even bigger function in stopping violence.
“We would just say, parents … parents be parents and lead your children,” Edds mentioned. “Fathers be fathers and lead your children. We have to show leadership to our kids and let them know this is not how we conduct ourselves. From our positions, there are two ways that we look at this. We ask the parents to do their job, but if they won’t, we have to ask the police to do their job. And that’s what we will do. We will not put up with this kind of activity in our community and in our state and it needs to stop across the nation.”
Edds additionally pledged the county’s monetary assist to assist applications and companies dedicated to stopping violent acts.
“This is going to stop,” Edds mentioned. “We’re going to do, as a board of commissioners from a funding perspective, and I know the city folks feel the same way, we will do what we need to do because as elected officials, we really believe our first and foremost calling is to provide for the safety of the folks that live in this community and that’s what we intend to do.”
DeeDee Wright, a member of the Salisbury Police Chief’s Advisory Council, mentioned the answer relies on first determining the “why.”
“If we can find out the ‘why,’ then we can find the solution,” Wright mentioned. “You can’t continue to throw good money after bad money. Oftentimes kids are not looking for programs. We’ve got to know what’s happening with our kids and why they feel that the only answer is to pick up a gun.”