Growing safety concerns in CSRA schools

Growing Safety Concerns in CSRA Schools

School safety is becoming a growing concern all over the country and here in the CSRA after two bomb threats this week at two different high schools.

Jeanie Drawdy's daughter attended the Academy of Richmond, where a bomb threat was called in Wednesday afternoon, and she described the school as "unsafe." Students were evacuated from the school because of the threat and deputies searched for explosives.

Drawdy says she's not surprised. She feels this is something that is all to common.

"There was bomb threats every day, you know? Kids taking knives to school, and guns, and it scared me," Drawdy said.

A similar situation happened on the other side of the water. A senior at North Augusta High, Kyle Becnel, was arrested after the school found a journal containing threatening and violent writing. Becnel allegedly wrote that he wanted to blow up the school and kill himself. He was charged with making a bomb threat.

As a parent, Drawdy thinks that the problem is with security.

"I know that there was protection down there, but I don't think that there's enough protection," said Drawdy.

Melanie Chavous, the resource officer at North Augusta High, said that the Aiken County Department of Public Safety is doing all they can to keep students safe by placing police in schools at all times. She believes that one of the most important factors in protecting kids at school is not something she can do, but something done at home.

"They need to be available," Chavous said. "Sometimes kids aren't going to give information to their parents because they're afraid of their reaction, you need to be open to your kid and have a good working relationship communicating with your kid. It really does start at home."

Chavous urges parents, students, teachers to be aware of their surroundings. She says that reporting suspicious behavior is one of the best ways to keep violence out of our schools.

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