Onslow Schools add safety measures for upcoming school year

ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WITN) Onslow County school resource officers were training Monday on how to identify threats that could lead to attacks at schools.

Once a month, the officer on each campus will meet with administrators and the school's psychologist, to do threat assessment. This is, in part, because, in other parts of the country, threats have been communicated, at times through social media, prior to shootings.

Jacksonville Police Chief Mike Yaniero says, "On most school shootings there is this idea that somebody has information. If you see something, say something, is extremely important, because that helps us make that early intervention."

Brent Anderson with Onslow County Schools says, "Following the Columbine shooting, that changed the way a lot of things were done in schools, and then 9/11 changed the entire country, really."

Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips says, "I hate to say it, but a lot if it has to with the frequency at which these things are taking place now, not just in the schools, but in other venues also."

The training is for the adults in Onslow County Schools, but leaders agree, the students are an essential part of threat assessment.

Anderson says, "It's a process of developing trust between the students and the officer, the officer and the staff, between the staff and the students, all the way around to create that safe environment."

Additionally, Onslow County Schools brought on more student resource officers last year and again this year at elementary schools.

They've added six new social workers, and they say all of these changes are part of a proactive approach to safety, given the shootings that have happened elsewhere.

Threat assessment is expected to be implemented at all Onslow County Schools by the end of the calendar year.