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After Josey shooting, Board of Education talks future of school safety | #schoolsaftey


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – One day after a shooting at Josey High School, the school parking lot is empty, leaving parents and students worried about returning.

“It was a pretty traumatic event for teachers. We had a lot of folks, a lot of our teachers who were traumatized by this. It was not something that was expected. So we felt like, and more importantly, the shooter had still had still not been apprehended. So we don’t know if that would be an invitation to come back to the school,” said Charlie Walker Jr., Richmond County Board of Education president. “Out of caution, just merely for the safety of the students and everyone involved in Josey and Murphy Middle School. We felt it best to let’s see if we can get this individual captured or in police custody before we open the school back.”

Now the suspect is in custody after turning himself in.

Officials say what happened on Wednesday will have lasting impacts.

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“Three days of lost education, which we don’t appreciate that happening anytime. It’s a big disruption, but the superintendent’s recommendation was we need a moment to regroup, especially for these educators and for the safety of the people in the school. So, that was probably the best decision at the time. It’s not something that we enjoy doing. We never want children to lose out on educational opportunities. And for those 99.9% that are there for education. There are two people ruining that,” said Walker.

Whether schools decide to cancel school is going to be on a case-by-case basis moving forward.

“We can’t be intimidated to shut down our schools because of incidents like this. If that were the case, then you know, we might never be open. So we have to take it incident by incident but we’re hoping this doesn’t continue to happen,” said Walker.

He says talks about harsher consequences should take place.

“If there’s a certain percentage of the students and our school population that just don’t want to be there, then maybe they shouldn’t be there,” he said.

Looking at other prevention methods, Walker says it’ll take more than metal detectors at the door.

“People talk about scanners and stuff like that, but you can’t scan somebody’s mind. That just doesn’t exist. So, if we don’t know what the thought processes are, in people who want to do something stupid or bad or too disruptive, that technology doesn’t exist yet and when it does, bring it to us and we’ll use it,” said Walker.

Metal detectors still may be added because he says it could make the community feel safer about coming to school.

Moving forward in the next couple of days, he hopes to have a meeting with the sheriff’s office, the Marshal’s office, resources officers, other members of the board, and school administration to discuss implementing new things to deter students from making these violent decisions.



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