Rock Hill Schools hosts town hall style school safety meeting

Rock Hill Schools hosts town hall style school safety meeting
(Kristi O'Connor | WBTV)

ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Parents, SROs, teachers and other members of the community listened to a panel of local authorities who were discussing school safety.

Superintendent of Rock Hill Schools Dr. Kelly Pew, Rock Hill Police Chief Chris Watts, York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson and Winthrop University Psychology Professor Dr. Melissa Reeves made up the panel.

They discussed a number of issues related to school safety including how the community could physically secure the schools. Chief Watts and Sheriff Tolson agreed it depends on how hardened the community wants their school to look and feel.

"You can gate it, you can stop people at the door, you can do searches, but again you don't want it to be prison-like," Sheriff Tolson said.

A question posed by an audience member asked the panel how it felt about the idea of arming teachers. Dr. Reeves immediately said no.

"Number one, that is not what we are trained to do and how do you keep those weapons locked up and in a safe place to where a person who is not supposed to have it doesn't get it," Reeves said.

"I'll simply say there are two sides to the argument, so I'm not a hard lined supported of that, I think it should be up to the schools," Sheriff Tolson said.

Rock Hill Schools announced at the meeting that it launched an anonymous tip line for parents, students and members of the community to report to. They say you can call or text 803-373-1707 to report a tip anonymously. They say you can also report tips via the Rock Hill Schools website and app.

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