NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – New Hanover County Schools will alert parents when buses are late, or when there is mold, but they have no plans to alert parents as to how many gang members are in the schools.
There are 323 validated gang members in New Hanover County and more than 20 of those go to New Hanover High School.
The sheriff's office is looking to validate more students, but there is no way you would know that because there is no policy in place that requires school or law enforcement to tell you that your kids go to school with gang members.
According to Sergeant Jerry Brewer with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, the validation of gang members is part of their investigations into gang activity.
"We don't have a policy that we release gang activity or validated gang members to the public," Brewer said.
Deputy Superintendent of New Hanover County Schools, Dr. Rick Holliday, said there is no policy to inform parents about validated gang members in school.
"Being a member of a gang is technically not against the law," Brewer said. "Activity that's illegal or that breaks school rules is what we deal with."
Holliday said a school cannot suspend or expel a student from school just because they are a validated gang member.
"Having knowledge that someone maybe a validated gang member and again it's not always certain that someone is in a gang even if they are validated," Holliday said. "You'd be treading all over someone's rights broadcasting something that they may or may not be."
Holliday said the schools just deal with inappropriate behavior.
Brewer said there is gang activity in every school and that gang members can be a problem and add to violence, but it does not mean that a school is less safe. He said school resource officers are in the schools to help keep kids safe.
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