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Salisbury High staying vigilant, but not changing procedure

Despite recent acts of violence in the area, Salisbury High School is staying vigilant but not changing much in terms of their safety procedures, says Principal Luke Brown.

Brown said that although he is concerned about the recent violence that has occurred in the area, teachers and students are still functioning normally.

“We’ve not asked our students or staff to do anything above and beyond what we normally do,” he said.

Earlier this week, Brown sent a letter home to parents about changes for this week’s athletic events, stating “recent incidents” as the reason for the changes.

Wednesday’s tennis and soccer matches were previously scheduled to be played at Salisbury High, but were moved to different locations. And Friday’s varsity football game against Surry Central High School will be held at Ludwig Stadium at 6 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m.

Three shootings have occurred near the high school’s campus on Sept. 12, 17 and 18.

On Sept. 17, a shooting that happened during a junior varsity football game between Salisbury High and Ledford High School led officials to end the game early.

Brown said Friday’s game was moved up to an earlier time because he knows the threat of violence increases at night.

“Moving the game up to six o’clock was what we felt like, not a necessary step, but an opportunity for us to ensure that our safety measures were at the highest level,” he said.

Brown said changes to athletic schedules happen frequently, but the changes occurring because of the recent shootings will not be long term.

For Friday’s game, Salisbury Police Captain Shelia Lingle said there would be “procedures in place” for the area.

“There will be some procedures implemented just for the safety of all the students, the players and the fans so everybody can have a safe and fun time at the ball game,” she said.

Lingle said the police department has increased foot patrols and police presence on and around the Salisbury High campus because of the shootings.

Brown said security measures and procedures are always in place at the school. Similar to many other schools in the area, the school also has an open line of communication with the police department.

“The exact measures we are placing on tomorrow for campus security was placed today. We do that every day, day in and day out,” he said.

As stated earlier this week, Lingle said again that the shootings were not random and that they were unusual for this area.

“The crime rates for the west end of town this year has actually dropped,” Lingle said. “Within the last week, week and a half, this is not the norm. We don’t usually have this type of thing happen.”

Brown said the recent events may lead to the school researching new safety protocols, but that research will only strengthen what the school already has in place.

The school and police department are always looking for better ways to secure the campus to keep students focused on their schoolwork, Lingle said.

“You do want the children to come here and focus on learning because ultimately that’s what they’re here for,” Lingle said.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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