WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The criminal past of the 18-year-old accused of shooting a gun and injuring one student during a fire drill at Carver High School Friday, has some wondering how students with criminal and disciplinary problems are monitored for enrollment at school.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, Richardson was convicted of having a knife on school grounds when he was a student in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg School System. The paper also reports Richardson faced misdemeanor gun charges for an incident at a Winston-Salem apartment complex earlier this year.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Spokesperson, Theo Helm, said while he can’t talk about specific students, “if someone has been suspended and finished that suspension and whatever record was and if someone has not been convicted of a felony at the time then it’s difficult to find grounds to deny enrollment.”
School officials say disciplinary and criminal records are shared among school districts in North Carolina. All systems use the same information gathering database called PowerSchool. If a student enrolls with a lengthy history of problems then a team of administrators assesses all possibilities.
“If a history of problems or disciplinary actions is seen the principal and assistant superintendents assess it together,” Helm said.
Helm said every year the system receives about 12 “red flag” cases where the team has to make the most appropriate legal choice. Those choices include deny admission, admit with conditions or send to an alternative school.
“Things have to be felonies generally speaking or have something to do with the school day to impact whether or not we can enroll a student. They also have to be convicted of the charge,” Helm said.