• CMS officials respond to safety concerns after Conn. shooting

    By: Kathryn Burcham


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte Mecklenburg School officials said they are considering new security measures after Friday's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

    At a press conference Monday afternoon, officials said since the shooting, they have been in contact with a principal at every school, reviewing security plans and examining any possible new measures.

    One example Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison described to reporters was a "buzzer system" that could be installed at some schools to limit access.

    "That's something many of our schools don't have. It's something I would like to have us look at, how can we create single points of entry into many of our schools?" Morrison said.

    Morrison said the district has been in close contact with Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies.

    CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe said over the weekend the department reviewed its "active shooter" protocol with all officers. Patrol officers were also stationed at each CMS school Monday and could remain at the schools until at least after the holidays.

    "What we are doing now is trying to control the fear," Monroe said.

    Some parents were still concerned about security measures.

    Holly Gilbert, whose 6-year-old daughter attends Matthews Elementary, contacted Channel 9 about her fears.

    Gilbert said at Matthews, visitors can sign in at a computer kiosk, print out a visitor sticker, and walk around the school without stopping by the front office. Gilbert said she was so worried, she almost kept her daughter home from school Monday morning.

    "You don't have to show any type of ID. I don't feel this school is as safe as it could be," Gilbert said.

    Eyewitness News took her concerns to district officials. Morrison said the district is reviewing each school's security individually.

    "You still have to present information to get a visitor's pass, but again, that's what we are doing right now, is going school by school, to make sure that we are comfortable, that what can be done is being done," Morrison said.

    Authorities are asking parents to be more involved in the wake of the shooting, saying they can often be the first to spot the warning signs.

    Monroe described an incident last week in which a CMS student had posted a picture online, posing with weapons.

    Monroe said it was the student's own parent who tipped off police, and said officers are now working with the student and their issues.

    "There are signs out there that we may ignore, or may not pay as much attention to as we need to," Monroe cautioned.

    For more on the Connecticut school shooting, click here.

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