Monday, May 5, 2014
School security continues to be a concern of the Williamsburg County District Board of Trustees. During an April 28, board meeting the board was provided an update by Director of Student Services Eddie Woowds. Woods said grant monies for metal detectors continue to be researched and conversations are occurring at the county level.
Board member W.C. Henryhand asked Woods if anyone on school grounds carried a weapon. “Our security people,” Woods said, adding, “Now I’m not aware of anyone else having permission. I can’t say no, but I can certainly say that our security people are armed.” The remark drew a laugh from the crowd but Henryhand wasn’t amused. “And that’s one reason why we should have a security system to detect those that you don’t know, not that you know.”
Henryhand opened a folder and began to read from a list of offences such as fighting and disorderly conduct that have occurred at Kingstree Senior
High School. Woods was frank in his response. “The crux of this is - I’ve seen parents look at a child doing something on a video and say ‘you doctored that video. My child didn’t do that.’” Woods went on to describe what bus drivers have to endure. “We have cameras on some of our busses. What a bus driver has to go through to drive a bus nowadays is ridiculous. Children yelling and screaming and won’t sit down. Call the police - stop the bus and the police have to get them off the bus. Where does that come from? It comes from the home and I know what they say, we can’t get into the home. But something has to happen. We have to attack this thing from the bottom. All we do is going to wind up for nothing if we don’t get control of the students.”
Superintendent Yvonne Jefferson-Barnes confirmed Woods’ view. “What Mr. Woods has just said went back to the root of the issue and the fact that we need our parents involved with our schools and supporting what it is we are trying to accomplish. That’s the bottom line,” said Jefferson-Barnes.
“It does not necessarily matter where you come from. It does matter what you bring with you, the heart that you have and the care that you invest in the children that you serve. And parents - you have to become involved if this is going to work for the system.”
Jefferson-Barnes added the district has an agreement with the Kingstree Police Department to allow for random visits that will include the K-9 Unit.
The Williamsburg County School District website provides information regarding bullying, dropout prevention, and violence prevention.
Another topic of discussion included the possibility of adding a Bible class as an elective. Jefferson-Barnes said the addition of the elective would be determined by the amount of parental interest. The class would be taught from a historical perspective.