WSFCS superintendent gives walkthrough of safety measures in high schools after spike in guns found on campuses

Piedmont Triad News

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Wednesday afternoon saw an increase of guns found on campus, after a middle school student at Paisley IB Magnet was found in possession of a handgun in their backpack.

The incident brings the total number of firearms found on campuses in the first six weeks of school to five, with three additional BB guns being found.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools leaders have begun to fast-track their proposed and discussed security ideas in order to make modifications to school security as quickly as possible.

On Wednesday, Superintendent Tricia McManus invited FOX8 crews into the halls of Parkland High School, a location that has seen several fights on campus, a handgun found inside of a bookbag, and had a student shot at as they walked several yards off campus after school.

When asked about what specific physical changes have been done on the Parkland High School campus since the start of the year, McManus said there has been an increased presence of monitors.

“Staff has been very visible on the campus. They always have been, but there is a heightened visibility between classes and changing periods,” she said.

Most of the fights and other issues experienced at a number of school grounds have happened in between classes.

To combat other issues, high schools like Parkland have increased SROs monitoring both inside and outside the campus, with extra focus on front doors that cannot be locked during the school day.

“It’s really just staff. The tighter security is something that is being worked on as we speak,” McManus said.

High schools currently do not have scanners or video code access panels to screen anyone who comes onto campus before they enter the doors.

The district has yet to work out a timeline for when those will be brought to high school campuses, but those talks are currently held up due to finances.

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