CHCCS went into secure mode during both emergency situations at UNC. Lockdown is used in the event of an immediate threat on campus, and students remain quiet in a hidden and safe location.
In addition to various protocols to respond to crises, CHCCS also has crisis prevention measures in place. Holloway said officials from multiple departments conduct quarterly safety audits, where they walk through school campuses to check for various safety concerns, such as working locks on doors.
There are also security cameras monitored by each school, which Holloway said act as a deterrent for crime. The district’s safety office has access to all security camera coverage. All playgrounds also have full camera coverage and are fenced-in, Holloway said.
Feaster Fornville said CHCCS does a good job of monitoring who goes in and out of the school buildings, but she said active threat drills would be a good way to practice in the event of an on-campus threat.
“It’s something that you don’t enjoy doing, but it’s something that you need to do,” she said.
Feaster Fornville said the second secure mode was more rattling for her daughter than the first, but she said she was impressed with the communication between the school and parents.
She has no complaints about how the secure mode implementations were handled by CHCCS, she said.
Chapel Hill resident Chandra Lovejoy, the parent of another student at Chapel Hill High School, said while safety measures can prevent harm, they can also cause anxiety for many students.
She said the need for crisis prevention measures has caused her ninth grade son to question if school is a safe place to be.
“The part that breaks my heart is just their experience of school being a potentially dangerous place, which I wish that it wasn’t something they felt,” Lovejoy said.
Implementing additional safety measures may help the school community feel safer, but it feels like “putting a Band-Aid on a broken arm,” she said.
Lovejoy added that she thinks more restrictive gun legislation will ultimately contribute to safer schools.
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“It seems like there’s a root cause here that needs to be addressed that Chapel Hill High isn’t going to necessarily be able to solve,” she said.
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