CMS says policing guns on campus will be tough

CMS says policing guns on campus will be tough

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on October 1, 2013 at 7:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 1 at 7:25 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Strong words came from CMS leaders to legislators Tuesday about the new state law that allows guns on school campuses, as they deal with the fallout from upset parents and principals.

It is the kind of thing those in the news business drop everything to cover -- when a gun is found on a school campus.

Now though, some guns are actually allowed on school campuses across North Carolina because of a law that went into effect Tuesday.

“Where before we were pretty confident we didn't have any guns on campus anywhere, now we've got to have some concern about the parking lot,” said interim CMS Police Chief Randy Hagler.

Anyone with a concealed carry permit can now bring a gun on campus, as long as it stays locked away in a locked car, in the parking lot.

CMS leaders admit the law is tough to enforce and say they're counting on everyone to be vigilant - parents, teachers and students.

CMS leaders say they have spent months making sure educators know the new law and are as comfortable as possible, even meeting with principals this morning.

Ann Clark, deputy CMS superintendent said, “Reaction initially came from educators over the summer expressing concerns, ‘Was this really in the best interest of our students?’ I think now that October 1 is here, we'll begin to hear that parent feedback.”

All parents got a special message about the new law and on the CMS website is a list of frequently asked questions. At the bottom is a strongly worded message - making it clear - CMS “believes this is not in the best interest of students, employees or schools.”

And they plan to make sure legislators hear their concerns.

Clark added, “We want to continue the conversations and make them aware of any challenges that we are having in terms of enforcing the law because that’s clearly not the role the school district should be in. We should be about education, our core business, not patrolling the parking lot.”
 

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