RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Standing a Wake County middle school on Tuesday, Gov. Pat McCrory announced the creation of the N.C. Center for Safer Schools as a clearinghouse for safety information to be administered through the Division of Juvenile Justice. Kym Martin of Apex, a former classroom teacher, was named to lead the new agency.
“My top priority for public safety in North Carolina is to ensure our children are safe, especially in our schools,” said McCrory in a news release. “It is imperative that we prevent all forms of potential violence. The Center for Safer Schools will develop a comprehensive strategy of best practices throughout the state and country to protect our children, teachers, school administrators and our communities.”
According to the release:
"In addition to creating a website and toll-free phone number, Center staff will help schools assess site safety issues; work on-site with communities and schools who are experiencing unacceptable levels of school and youth violence; and provide community or school presentations on topics such as emerging trends in school violence, safe school and site assessment, gang prevention and risk identification.
The Center will assist schools in ensuring that its personnel are equipped, trained and have the skills required to make schools safer. This could include the creation of a set of basic certification standards and updated training for school resource officers. The Center will also convene outside experts for presentations and assessments on topics related to crisis prevention, planning, response and recovery from a wide array of fields, including: juvenile justice, mental health, security, emergency management, education, law enforcement and public health."
The Center for Safer Schools will hold eight community forums across the state in April to learn about local concerns and challenges related to school safety.