CMS superintendent reconsiders certain safety measures after guns found at schools

CMS superintendent reconsiders certain safety measures after guns found at schools

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are planning to announce new security measures in the wake of a fatal shooting at Butler High School and guns found at other schools.

Officers recently found guns at Garinger and Hopewell high schools in the days following the Oct. 29 shooting in the hallway at Butler.

The superintendent, principals and district leaders met Thursday to review security plans.

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Channel 9 education reporter Elsa Gillis was told that CMS will soon announce the first set of new and revised security actions.

"We just can't seem, as a community, to get our hearts and minds around keeping guns out of the hands of kids,” CMS Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said.

Last week, 16-year-old Bobby McKeithen died after getting shot at Butler High School. The next day, a 16-year-old was found with a gun at Garinger High School, and on Wednesday, a student had a gun at Hopewell High School.

Officials said 17-year-old Michael Nakiah Spates was arrested Wednesday after a tip led to the discovery of the gun at Hopewell High School.

(Michael Spates)

Wilcox addressed the possibility of metal detectors at CMS.

“We will have some recommendations to present to our larger community for some things that we perhaps resisted before,” said Wilcox, who previously opposed metal detectors.

Wilcox hinted at that change Wednesday night, and in recent days, he and district leaders have told Channel 9 that airport-style security practices, wanding and searching backpacks could be considered.

“Learning organizations should be sanctuaries for kids,” Wilcox said. “We were concerned about how school would feel, but quite honestly, the safety of all is going to trump how people feel."

"We have to do whatever is necessary to keep kids safe,” parent Carol Cameron-Matthews said.

Some parents told Channel 9 that they support using metal detectors and wands at school.

"I think that they would feel more comfortable and at ease walking into school knowing that everybody's being checked,” parent Diamond Camp said.

Channel 9 recently asked officials from CMS, Lancaster, Lincoln and Union counties about using metal detectors.

Lancaster County uses metal detectors in schools to prevent guns from getting inside. Other school leaders worry metal detectors would make students feel imprisoned.

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