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'Be there when no cameras are there' | Sheriff offers advice to parents concerned with spiking high school violence

As violent altercations among students surge in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, parents are meeting to find possible solutions.

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Concerned fathers are banding together, seeking a solution to a problem growing at their kids' schools: Escalating violence.

On Tuesday night, dads met to discuss the increasing amounts of incidents involving fights and guns

This move came after authorities took five people into custody after a fight at Hopewell High School. Police found two guns, one of which was reported stolen, during their investigation into the incident.

RELATED: Hopewell High School was placed on lockdown due to nearby police activity

Mecklenburg County Sherriff Garry McFadden, who was at the meeting, said this is just one possible solution to the issue.

“It’s going to take more than us just walking the halls and being present,” McFadden explained. “We have to connect with the kids and build relationships so they can trust us."

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McFadden hopes Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools can set aside time where parents could build connections, bond with students and break the silence. 

He understands it will be unusual for students to see their parents and other parents in the school setting in the beginning, but with consistency, he hopes it will make a lasting impact.

“I think being in the hallways, eating lunch, laughing and talking is going to be key,” McFadden said.

RELATED: 3 years later: Changes CMS has made since fatal Butler High School shooting

He believes that dedicated time could deter future fights and violence.

McFadden was proud of the diversity he saw in the room during Tuesday's meeting.

“I was thinking maybe 20 people would show up, but it was much more than 20, and then, they came from diverse backgrounds, and that was very important because usually, we hear from one side that believe they know the answer, and the other side, they may have the answer, and they never come together, so I’m encouraged about this meeting,” McFadden said.

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McFadden is pushing parents who have students at CMS to make a commitment and stick to it beyond the recent incidents.

“Be there when no cameras are there; be there when nobody recognizes you but your mentee, and you will find that will be the greatest rewards you will have,” McFadden said.

Contact Ruby Durham at rdurham@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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