Harding parents meet with CMS over safety concerns

Harding parents meet with CMS over safety concerns

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by ANN SHERIDAN / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheridanWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 12:33 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 16 at 8:44 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Harding University High School looked peaceful Tuesday night. The school's art students hosted a gallery crawl for parents and athletes finished practice for the night and headed home.

But another group of parents and students met privately in the school's cafeteria - off limits to the media. It was designed to give parents a chance to ask questions about concerns they have regarding school safety and the school said it was also a chance to discuss the many positive academic things going on at Harding University.

"I just want to know every morning when my daughter goes to school that she's safe," said parent Tania Wright. She attended the meeting hoping to hear answers to her concerns, but she said the meeting fell short. "Does something have to happen in order for them to say, 'What are the issues?'"

Wright said her daughter is afraid at school and she is also concerned. "This is real. Every high school has its issues, but not like Harding," she said.

But that's not the case, said Inga Rodgers. She and her daughter are new to Harding University but they feel the school is doing all it can to keep students safe. Inga chose Harding for her freshman daughter because of its reputation of academic excellence. "I feel education is the number one concern here and I want to keep it that way," she said.

Parent Jerry Swindell also attended the meeting. He said he was pleased with the communication between the administration, Davis and parents. "I feel confident that they're increasing security and that education is still going on," he said.

Davis said additional security officers will be added at the school - from five to 16 - and he said the school system will aggressively go after students who are disruptive and use the legal system to remove them from the school if warranted.

Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh will hold a media briefing at Harding University on Thursday morning.

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