On March 15, North Carolina released its annual school crime and violence report. While there were some improvements to last year’s numbers, other figures were discouraging. The report stated that incidents involving weapons, drugs and violence at Charlotte-Mecklenburg high schools went up from 584 to 710 this year. The figures represent the latest troubling statistic for a school system that has already been plagued by violence in the past year.
Safety has been a top priority for Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools this year after a deadly shooting at Butler High School in October 2018. Police said that the accused student became involved in a fight with a classmate just minutes before the first class of the day began, then pulled out a gun and shot the victim, who died at the hospital. The shooting, one of 35 fatal cases in 2018, made state and national news, and put Charlotte schools in the spotlight regarding safety.
The report found that inMecklenburg County, fewer than two out of 100 students are involved in reported crimes. However, when students are involved in a crime, the cases are becoming far more serious. There was a 22 percent increase in firearm offenses, with 128 guns found on campus. The number of students caught with drugs is up by 7 percent. In terms of discipline, there were more than 20,000 short-term suspensions, 10 long-term suspensions, and nine expulsions. Finally, the new statistics show sex crimes are up almost 50 percent, with nearly two dozen more sex offenses in North Carolina schools last year.
In response to the report as well as the recent school shooting at Butler, Mecklenburg County commissioners have unanimously approved a school safety plan calling for over $9 million dollars of security technology. The new security plan includes enhanced video surveillance equipment both inside and outside the schools, classroom cameras, visitor management systems, electronic locks, and new automatic gates and entryway systems. You can read more about the new Charlotte school safety plan here.
Charlotte is the biggest city in North Carolina, as well as the 16th largest city in the U.S. Like all big cities, crime is a constant factor. Be sure to protect your property with safety measures such as automatic entry systems, video surveillance systems, gates, and fences. If you are looking for Charlotte gate operators, call us today for a free estimate.