It’s been a rough start to in-person learning for North Carolina schools. There were shootings this week at a Wilmington, NC high school as well as yesterday at a high school in Winston-Salem. CMPD has also responded to four reports of guns on school grounds in the first week of school. As a result, CMS is launching a new initiative, “Safety Screenings”, to help keep students safe.

The following is taken directly from the CMS Website describing the intent behind and process of safety screenings:

​To help keep students, staff and everyone connected to our schools safe, CMS has a comprehensive set of measures in place. Safety screenings to help keep weapons out of our schools have been added to these measures as a deterrent and precautionary step. Our goals are to keep weapons out of schools and to minimize class time disruption and distractions from teaching and learning during screenings. Here are some important things to know about CMS Safety Screenings:

  • The safety of our students and staff is a top priority.
  • We are all part of keeping each other safe.
  • To help keep weapons out of schools, safety screenings will begin in CMS high schools.
  • Our goals are to keep weapons out of schools and to minimize class time disruption or distractions from teaching and learning during screenings.
  • Schools will be selected randomly. No individual students will be selected randomly.
  • No-touch wanding and metal detectors may be used; bags will be visually inspected.
  • Safety screenings will not be announced in advance.
  • Safety screenings may include classrooms, a building, or the whole school.
  • All students in a selected classroom, building or school will be screened.
  • A step-by-step safety screenings guide is available from the CMS website.
  • Safety screenings will be much like screenings at football games and other events.
  • Safety screenings will be conducted by trained staff with support from law enforcement.
  • During a screening, no students may leave the school campus.
  • Ask any staff member for more information and or go to the CMS website Safety page.
  • We wish safety screenings were not needed, but we must keep weapons out of schools.
  • Thank you for your participation in the screenings and for helping to keep everyone safe.

Students and families were notified on Monday about the screenings by phone and email. The screenings aim to keep students and staff safe which keeping class time intact. Many parents are in favor of the screenings though several are disheartened that they are even needed. I can agree with that sentiment however unfortunately these instances seem to be part of our society. It’s also good to know that, unlike random airport screenings, individual students will not be called out. The screenings will involve entire schools, buildings, or classrooms. Students, even we preapproved early dismissals, will not be able to leave while these are taking place.

It’s important to talk to your kids about these screenings and the reasons behind them.