CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - CMS conducted the inaugural random security screening selections for area high schools on Monday afternoon in order to determine which schools will be subjected to the first wave of screenings.
The selection came after the school district announced that they would be introducing these screening measures into high schools across the county in order to ensure that students are safe in the classroom following a rise in security issues during 2018.
Eight local schools were selected in the random drawing in which each high school was named on a sheet of paper and placed in an envelope that was then drawn by Dr. Wardell Henderson, a retired AME Zion minister. Henderson authorized each of the sealed envelopes that he selected but the names of those schools will not be announced in advance.
Officials at the selection assured the public that they would not conduct any individual screenings and that instead they would be limited to searches of classrooms, buildings or the entire school.
“No individual students will be selected randomly from any of these models or screenings,” said Tracey Russ the Chief Information Officer for CMS. “This is not a search to find anything and everything. This is a search to deter weapons from being brought on school campuses.”
These searches will be conducted by security professionals and although students cannot leave the area while the search is being conducted, the school stated that parents will be notified of the measures being taken.
"We will however message the parents from the principal when screenings begin and when they have concluded,” said Russ.
The first round of screenings will include the 8 schools selected today and once the next round of screenings come up, all schools will be placed back in the pool and selected randomly.
The district will use metal detectors, no-touch wanding and bag checks to search students. The time of the screenings will depend on if the whole school, one building, or a specific classroom is selected.
“Our goals for safety screenings is to keep weapons out of schools and to minimize class time disruptions during screenings,” said Russ.
For security purposes the times of the screenings will not be released until after the screenings are completed.
“We all wish that these safety screenings were not necessary,” said Russ.