Discussion in Craven County seeks ways to keep children safe at school

CRAVEN COUNTY, NC (WITN) – Following September’s fatal stabbing attack at Northside Jacksonville High School, concerns about the safety of the school have begun to grow in communities from the east.

Craven County law enforcement, school administrators and Congressman Greg Murphy all met Thursday afternoon to talk about the recurring topic.

West Craven High School principal Montrell Lee believes in the motto of staying prepared, so you don’t have to prepare.

“Preparing our students for every situation is very important,” Lee said. “So in an emergency, it’s not unfamiliar to them, it’s not the first time they’ve been exposed to it.”

The roundtable gave officials the opportunity to discuss improving safety measures in schools while addressing current challenges. Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes says safety must be a priority.

“It’s so important that you know the opportunity of this because parents want to make sure their kids are safe at school, they want to make sure they’re in a safe learning environment,” Hughes said. “With everything going on in the country right now, it’s really important that we meet to let the public know what we’re doing.”

During the discussion, administrators at West Craven High School mentioned the importance of lockdown drills, especially as the school undertook one earlier this week due to a potential threat.

Lee, who has spent his entire educational career in Craven County schools, says hearing student feedback is what he would like to see in the future.

“The student feedback they give us, what we can do to improve, what worked well,” Lee said. “It’s vital because again, everything we do is for them, so we listen directly to the students. They are the ones who, when they see something, say something.

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