CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education approved a plan to bring more security to schools in the district Tuesday night.
The seeds of the plan got started after the tragic shooting at Butler High School last October. With this plan, school leaders want to provide more services for mental health in schools. They also want to see new school safety programs for students and staff and possibly an added layer of security when you get on campus.
The board approved a $95,000 federal grant application that will greenlight money to hire a part-time social worker and safety program at Butler. Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox says the district needs the money but it's worth it for students still reeling from the shooting.
"I've been told that a loud noise might really trigger a response that wasn't there before the gun," Wilcox said. "Anything we can do to make sure that our team members are whole and that our students feel safe and secure are things that we have to invest in."
CMS has struggled in recent years to hire social, emotional and mental health support staff, falling short of the national recommendation for social workers, psychologists and counselors.
During Tuesday night's meeting, multiple CMS students spoke to the board about the need for more security.
"I had to walk into a metal detector to get into this chamber for your safety and yet this board has the audacity to tell me that I cannot be afforded the same protections," said one Ardrey Kell High School student.
Wilcox said parents shouldn't expect to see airport-strength metal detectors anytime soon.
"We may look at how we could use metal detectors as a part of a more comprehensive review," Wilcox explained. "I don't think you'll ever see us get to the point where we set up eight of them in a lobby and move 3,000 kids through them."