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Local Community Comes Together to Strategize Additional Ways to Make Schools Safe

April 20, 2023  

More than 200 district and community leaders, law enforcement officers, families, educators and students took part in Cumberland County Schools' (CCS) Community Conversations forum titled "School Safety: Let's Talk About It!" 


The participants packed into the multi-purpose room in the Kiwanis Recreation Center on Devers Street in Fayetteville tonight for dinner and a seat at the table, sponsored by Cumberland Family Academy, the district's family engagement outreach arm. 


CCS Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr., welcomed the crowd and reminded them of the importance of the forum and the shared goal. "Across this room, we represent various schools, communities and organizations, but we do have something in common. We care deeply about the safety of our young people, their families and our team of educators and staff."


After noticing that school districts across the nation are facing an uptick in school violence, Cumberland Family Academy wanted to bring all stakeholders to the table for this important conversation. 


Some got the long-awaited opportunity to express their ideas and share suggestions about how the district can intensify its current safety protocols. At each table around the room, facilitators led a representative stakeholder group in passionate conversation about additional measures that could possibly be put in place to keep CCS students and staff safe each day.


Some of the following suggestions were made:

  • Provide free gun locks for parents
  • Hire more mental health professionals
  • Install safety alarms in school bathrooms
  • Provide more professional development for school personnel, helping them better recognize risks and threats
  • Employ at least one SRO (School Resource Officers) at each school
  • Install metal detectors at every school each morning
  • Provide de-escalation training for school staff
  • Install more security cameras at schools
  • Develop on-campus stress relievers for students and staff.


Organizers said that feedback from the forum will be shared with district administrators at a subsequent meeting for possible adoption by the district.