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Rowan-Salisbury Schools announces safety updates for athletics following shooting at basketball tournament

Fans will enter a security checkpoint and be wanded by metal detectors.
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 8:18 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2022 at 7:31 AM EST
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - At a called meeting of the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education, several enhancements to safety protocols and procedures for athletic events were announced.

The enhancements follow an incident in which two juveniles were shot during a high school basketball tournament on the campus of Catawba College on December 29. The victims are expected to be okay. Two juveniles are facing charges in the case.

According to a press release from the Rowan-Salisbury Schools, effective Jan. 10, 2022, all fans entering Rowan-Salisbury Schools athletic facilities for designated events will enter through a security checkpoint and will be wanded by a metal detector in an effort to create a safer environment for all fans, guests, coaches, and student-athletes.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early and remove items from their pockets before entering the line. Backpacks and large bags will be prohibited at all RSS athletic events, excluding student-athletes. An exception will be made for diaper bags and medical bags with additional screening.

All personal items are subject to search. Rowan-Salisbury middle schools do not have athletic events scheduled this week, January 3-7, 2022, but will have scheduled practices. Rowan-Salisbury high schools will not host athletic events this week, January 3-7, 2022, but will travel to scheduled away games, and will have scheduled practices.

The board emphasized this is the first step of a long-term effort to make the schools even safer places for our students in the future.

“Administrators will be developing a community safety task force and working with parents, community supporters, and community agencies to look at preventing safety issues and improve school climate across the board. We want to make sure students make good choices and to ensure schools are safe and enjoyable places for everyone,” stated Superintendent Dr. Tony B. Watlington, Sr. “We will absolutely not tolerate violence in Rowan-Salisbury Schools.”

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