N.C. School Safety Committee Meets Thursday in Charlotte

Raleigh, NC – State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) recently approved the House Select Committee on School Safety to continue their work throughout the remainder of the year in various locations across North Carolina.

The committee  plans to meet six times during the legislative interim in locations across the state.

The first meeting will be held in Charlotte at the Harris Conference Center (3216 CPCC Harris Campus Dr., Charlotte, NC 28208) from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 30th.

Chairman David Lewis (R-Harnett) and Chairman John Torbett (R-Gaston) plan to recap the funding secured during the 2018 Short Session and hear from stakeholders around the Charlotte area.

Prior to the 2018 legislative session, the full committee met two times, and Chairman Lewis and Chairman tasked two working groups with major focus areas.

Both the Mental Health Working Group and the Physical Safety Working Group came up with a set of recommendations that included more mental health opportunities in the school system, more counseling and peer to peer programs for students, better preparation for threats, and a focus on putting more school resource officers in schools.

“I appreciate the impressive progress our school safety committee made in a short period of time to secure new initiatives that protect students and teachers in a thriving education environment,” said House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland). 

Support for the initial proposal was widely bi-partisan and praised from across the political spectrum for its inclusion of member ideas and work in the policy areas of health and human services, justice and public safety, and education.

Future work on the committee will attempt to encompass input from a wide selection of stakeholders and focus on innovative school safety solutions that are being developed at the local school district and law enforcement level.

Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett), Co-Chair of the committee had this to say about the upcoming committee work:

“I’m proud to be a part of the committee that secured over $35 million in funding for school safety initiatives and identified areas where North Carolina can leverage an additional $90 million for student health.”

“This committee is eager to get back to work on specific solutions that will address the physical safety of our students and increase access to mental health professionals. I’ll continue to encourage all members of the committee to bring all options to the table and work together in a positive, bipartisan manner.”

Rep. John Torbett (R-Gaston), co-chair of the committee, offered praised the Speaker for authorizing meetings that would allow legislators to travel the state:

“The Speaker has seen the approach that Chairman Lewis and I have taken and has full faith in the members of this committee to make progress towards a safer learning environment for our students.”

“We plan on reviewing a number of gadgets and gizmos that could help make our schools safer while also hearing from a student perspective.”

Both Torbett and Lewis offered this comment on the future of the School Safety Committee:

“We are focusing not only on the immediate need to protect our children from attackers, but also to prevent problems from arising in the first place.”

“We are excited to investigate what our communities are doing on a local level and how they are implementing the $35 million secured this past budget cycle in funding opportunities for personnel, care, and physical safety equipment.”

Speaker Moore offered the following comment on the School Safety Committee work starting this Thursday:

“We look forward to hearing from citizens across North Carolina as the state House committee on school safety continues to hold hearings in local communities.”