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New security measures considered for Salisbury High School

Salisbury High School may be getting some new safety updates.

On Monday, the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education discussed safety projects for Salisbury High. The updates include adding fencing around the perimeter of the school and adding an extra school resource officer.

According to a report given by April Kuhn, executive director of administration and legal services for Rowan-Salisbury, a preliminary estimate of the cost for the fencing is $250,000, which includes the fencing plus the lighting and landscaping that would go with it.

Salisbury High School is working with a grant writer, and there may be a donor for the bricks needed for the fence, according to Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody.

According to documents provided by Kuhn, Police Chief Rory Collins recommends adding an extra school resource officer at Salisbury high. The salary for the new SRO would be between $65,000 and $70,000.

Last month, three shootings occurred near the school’s campus. The shootings were unrelated to the school itself.

Kuhn said disciplinary actions have decreased for Salisbury High School.

Board member Travis Allen said the threat is from outside the school, not inside.

“I think we are aware of an outside presence that is a threat. I don’t think we’re saying the threat comes from inside the school,” Allen said. “The threat is definitely there outside the school, right up to the door steps of the school.”

Chairman Josh Wagner said he thinks the board should sit down with the Salisbury City Council to get the city involved in developing a long-range plan.

“I think it’s more than the school system can do, because I don’t think we’re the only stakeholder,” Wagner said. “I think it’s more than us. It’s bigger.”

Allen suggested creating a part-time fund to hire extra officers, similar to the way officers are hired as a presence at sporting events, so that the principal would have discretion over when he would like additional officers on campus.

“If (the principal) hears talk of maybe gang activity or he’s worried next week, the extra-duty officers would come in,” Allen said.

Allen also said the part-time fund would be less expensive than building the fence.

Moody said the school system has done a lot in terms of ensuring the safety of students. She also said she liked Allen’s idea because it was something that could be put in place right away.

“It might be the gap between, and then if we decide to go with a full-time SRO, we can do that, too,” Moody said.

Salisbury High School Principal Luke Brown said the school has security measures in place to keep students safe, even without the extra measures discussed in the meeting. He said that extra security is a good thing for any school.

“The opportunities for more security measures always piques your interest and is at least worth talking about,” he said.

Wagner said the board would continue discussing the safety projects at the next business meeting.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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