School leaders, first responders talk school safety | #schoolsaftey

LUMBERTON — Local school administrators and safety officials recently met to discuss enhancing school safety within the Public Schools of Robeson County.

PSRC leaders and safety officials discussed enhancing crisis response at all schools and the PSRC Central Office during the Oct. 5 meeting at PSRC Central Office.

Individuals in attendance included Central Office officials, principals, and representatives from various agencies including the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, Robeson County Emergency Management/Office of the Fire Marshal, Robeson County EMS, Lumberton Police Department, Red Springs Police Department, Robeson County Department of Social Services and the Lumbee Tribe.

“Roundtable discussions such as those held today allow us all to discuss and make adjustments as needed for the safety of our students and staff,” said Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins after the meeting. “I was pleased with the progress made today and look forward to working together with this group soon.”

District leaders plan to present a district crisis plan for approval by the PSRC Board of Education in early 2024. The plan would enhance crisis response at all schools and plans already in place at all schools.

During the meeting, various topics were discussed including safety enhancements in place and plans to revise the district crisis plan draft.

“It is safe to say that every community that has been affected by school violence has thought at least once that it cannot happen here and beyond that notion, it is safe to assume that all communities feel that they have taken all the necessary steps to prevent violence in our schools,” said First Sergeant S.B. Lewis of the NCSHP.

“Meetings like the one held today ensure that when the worst case scenario happens, all parties involved are prepared to take action and are understanding of what actions will be taken by all parties. Training for a chaotic event may be what saves lives when our worst fear is realized,” Lewis said.

Lumberton Chief of Police Mike McNeill said he looks forward to follow-up meetings and his department remains committed to assisting in enhancing safety at local schools within PSRC.

PSRC leaders plan to continue collaborative efforts with safety officials to ensure the well-being of individuals across school campuses, said PSRC Chief Communications Officer Jessica Sealey.

“Everyone in the room was committed to one goal: the safety of our students and staff. That is and will always be our top priority across all facilities and school campuses,” said Bobby Locklear, assistant superintendent of Auxiliary Services at PSRC. “It’s critical that we continue to engage in these meaningful conversations to ensure the safety of our students and staff members in the event of an emergency situation.”

Jessica Sealey is the chief communications officer for the Public Schools of Robeson County. Reach her by email at [email protected].

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