Under the Dome

Dome: Safe schools initiative calls for arming only resource officers

September 7, 2013 

There were several unsuccessful bills last session that proposed to put more weapons on school campuses, including by arming teachers and volunteers with weapons. The thinking behind some of the legislation was that students will be safer if there are more guns around.

But on Friday, Gov. Pat McCrory’s safe schools initiative released its first report, and it calls for arming school resource officers but no one else. School resources officers are law enforcement personnel.

“The key finding here is that when properly trained and equipped, SROs are thought to be the only professionals who should be required or permitted to carry weapons on school campuses,” the report concludes.

The Safer Schools Task Force includes 80 recommendations. Appearing at Hoggard High School in Wilmington, McCrory received the report that called for greater educational efforts to avoid bullying and cyber-bullying; encouraging schools to create more effective alternatives to out-of-school suspension; assessment of the physical layouts of the schools; better mental health treatment, and hiring more school resources officers.

McCrory created the task force in March when the mass shooting in Connecticut was on many parents’ minds.

A Center for Safer Schools has been created in the Department of Public Safety. Money has been appropriated for additional school resource officers in elementary and middle schools and for panic alarm systems. Schools are also being encouraged to hold lock-down drills and operate an anonymous tip line to receive information about internal and external safety risks.

N.C. business summit in D.C.

On Monday and Tuesday, Joe Stewart, executive director of the N.C. Free Enterprise Foundation, will be in Washington, where he will moderate a panel of North Carolina business executives as part of the N.C. Business and Economic Development Summit.

The panel includes Michael Nagowski, CEO of Cape Fear Valley Health; John W. Palmour, executive vice president of Cree; David Simmons, chairman and CEO of PPD; and Jennifer Weber, executive vice president and chief human resources officer of Duke Energy.

The summit is held each September to give North Carolina business leaders an opportunity to meet federal officials and discuss policies.

Hudson opposes action in Syria

Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican from Concord, said Friday that he will oppose U.S. military action in Syria.

“I have taken the last several days to study the situation in Syria, receiving intelligence briefings and speaking with my colleagues in Congress,” Hudson said in a statement. “It has become clear to me that President Obama and his Administration do not have a cohesive long-term policy for the Middle East and are unable to articulate a strategy in Syria. The Administration has also not made it clear what objective and end game is achievable with a limited use of force. To make matters worse, it appears that if we were to pursue the President’s suggested course of military action, we would be acting unilaterally, as support from our allies is nearly nonexistent. Limited unilateral action will not send the right message to Iran and other bad actors, and I fear it will only further destabilize the region.”

Post examines N.C. politics

The Washington Post has been spending a lot of time in Raleigh lately.

Last week, its GovBeat state and local government blog ( www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/) looked at the GOP lineup against Sen. Kay Hagan. The piece included an extended interview with “an impeccably coiffed man in a pinstriped suit and French cuffs named Thom Tillis.”

In separate posts, the blog also interviewed McCrory and Senate leader Phil Berger, a Republican from Eden who says he is close to announcing whether he will run for Hagan’s seat. Tillis is already running.

Then Friday, the blog took a look at Democratic contenders for governor, following a rough week in which the Republican incumbent lost two veto battles and upset legislators by threatening to block one of their new laws. The Post talked to Attorney General Roy Cooper, who says it’s too early to decide about a 2016 campaign, but “I’m deeply concerned about where this state’s headed.”

The Post also talked to state Sen. Josh Stein, who says he won’t run against Cooper, either for governor or for attorney general. But if Cooper runs for governor, he might be a candidate to replace him.

And the Post mentioned former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, who floated a gubernatorial balloon this week. It also mentioned Durham lawyer Ken Spaulding and Chapel Hill businessman James Protzman as having announced they’ll run for governor.

Staff writers Craig Jarvis and Rob Christensen

Send tips to dome@newsobserver.com.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service