REIDSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — The mass shooting in Texas has parents around the country questioning whether their children are safe when they send them off to school.
Those fears had law enforcement agencies in the Piedmont Triad re-evaluating safety measures Wednesday to make sure a tragedy like the one in Texas doesn’t happen here.
For the rest of the school year, there will be an officer or deputy at all schools in Rockingham County.
Sheriff Sam Page said that right now, there isn’t always someone to protect students and teachers should an active shooter come to campus.
“We want to make sure from now through the rest of the year that our teachers and our students feel safe in the environment they’re in,” said Sheriff Page. “When teachers feel safe, they can teach. When students feel safe, they can learn.”
The violence in Texas happened thousands of miles away, but it forced local sheriffs to ask what can they do to better protect students here?
“We’ll be talking about ways to fund, to bring about more school resource officers,” said Page.
In Rockingham County, some elementary schools have one school resource officer.
The SROs only patrol middle and high schools in Forsyth County. The shooting in Texas happened in a fourth-grade class.
“It’s time for us to consider our elementary schools,” said Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough. “To me, that’s offense. Defense is waiting and responding, reacting.”
Sheriff Kimbrough put an additional 25 deputies at schools Wednesday. He said it’s going to take more than extra resources to fix the problem.
“It’s time for metal detectors to be added to our schools,” he said. “It’s time. People are going to always have the right to bear arms in this country. That’s just the U.S.A. So the question that comes is how do we hold the people accountable that violate those laws?”
While sheriffs work to figure out the answer to that question, they’re putting all hands on deck for the next two weeks so students and teachers can finish out the school year safely.
“If you are sworn and you carry a firearm I don’t want you in this building the next two weeks,” said Sheriff Kimbrough.
Sheriff Page wants parents to know they’re updating safety plans every time a tragedy like this happens.
“We care about our children. They’re precious and we want to make sure we look after them.”
These sheriffs will have conversations throughout the summer about how to fund and find the manpower to provide more SROs. They’re already facing staffing shortages, but tell FOX8 it’s time to make these changes for the next school year.