Students head back to school, extra officers ready in New Hanove - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Students head back to school, extra officers ready in New Hanover County

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Thousands of students will head back to school in New Hanover County on Wednesday. While they were gone, the school board was busy trying to figure out how to keep them safe while they are indoors.

"I was sick to my stomach," said school board member, Tammy Covil. When she heard about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the new board member, and mother, first thought of her children.

"My first thoughts went to my children and their safety," said Covil. She wasn't the only one. Covil says, many parents wrote her e-mails, expressing concerns about their children's safety.  

She says she doesn't think there will be a tragedy like that in New Hanover schools, but adds that the incident did shed light on ways New Hanover County can improve.

"It did sort of highlight the vulnerabilities our schools have - because our schools don't have the have the security measures that this particular school did, they had surveillance cameras and procedures locked doors and things like that, that were breached so it underscored what we needed to do and we move forward," said Covil. That's why the school board approved putting resource officers in each of the elementary schools across the county.

"I  think the parents will all breath a sigh of relief to know that there is a person on grounds, a staff person there in the event something like this should happen," said Covil.

She says some of the money for the officers came from the county and some came from the school's funds. One officer will be at every school until the end of the year, then the school board will discuss a more permanent solution.

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