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CMS families, community members share suggestions at “Let’s Talk About Safety” session

CMS is hosting five other sessions between now and the beginning of April
More than two dozen people came to the district’s first “Let’s Talk About Safety” session at Myers Park High School on Wednesday.
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 9:59 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is creating a forum for families and community members to address safety.

More than two dozen people came to the district’s first “Let’s Talk About Safety” session at Myers Park High School on Wednesday.

Students, parents, and family members shared their thoughts on safety, what they think a safe school would look like, and how to keep schools safe.

Myers Park High School student Xavia Berry Candelario brought her concerns to the district at Wednesday’s session, hopeful that she will see some change.

“I am fearful knowing that there have been many weapons found on this campus, but I appreciate that CMS has been trying its best and trying to stop this violence from getting here,” Berry Candelario said.

Myers Park High School student Tiffany Jones says having trusted adults to go to is critical for students to open up about their feelings and concerns.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools tells WBTV that both victims were CMS students. A teacher confirmed the 14-year-old who died attended Randolph Road Middle School.

“For me, safety definitely looks like stability and being able to have support and knowing you’re able to go onto a campus and you have someone that you can reach out to and talk to,” Jones said.

Students weren’t the only ones in attendance.

“I also believe that a program is needed to teach our kids how to face life adversity without resorting to violence,” said Johnnie Frazier who lives in Charlotte.

Parents, teachers, and community members also shared suggestions including conflict resolution programs and emotional support.

“A program is needed where they can express their experience, frustration, and emotional wounds outwardly,” Frazier said.

CMS staff put the pen to paper including each response and suggestion - all steps they plan to use to keep schools safer.

“The information will be used to inform tactics and strategies moving forward,” said Rosanna Saladin-Subero, CMS ‘ Assistant Director of Community Partnerships. ”The expectation is not to have an action plan after the meetings it is to have informed expectations so we can use it for additional tactics and strategies that we’ll implement in the community.”

Students say they’re ready to see how their suggestions and concerns will be used moving forward.

“Action is definitely the next step, I think talking and getting these ideas out there were very important.”

Different organizations and staff including Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s deputies, the county’s office of violence prevention, the county’s community relations staff, and the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage were present.

There are five other safety night sessions between now and the beginning of April. You don’t have to be a student at those schools to attend - anyone is invited.

The other sessions and their registration links are as follows:

South Mecklenburg High School - March 21, 6 p.m.

West Charlotte High School - March 22, 6 p.m.

East Mecklenburg High School - March 24, 6 p.m.

Julius Chambers High School - March 29, 6 p.m.

Hopewell High Schools - April 6, 6 p.m.

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