SRO on administrative duties following altercation between high school students

SRO on administrative duties following altercation between high school students
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 1:37 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - A School Resource Officer has been placed on administrative duties pending investigation following an altercation between two students at South Columbus High School on May 17, 2022.

According to a news release from Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, the altercation “became physical” between the students during lunch. An SRO intervened and escorted one student from the cafeteria.

The CCSO released the following statement:

I, Sheriff Greene, received a message that the student’s mother called the office concerning the incident. She expressed concerns about the School Resource Officer’s interaction with her son. I returned the mother’s call and promptly called District Attorney Jon David and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. I requested that the NCSBI initiate an investigation. This is normal procedure when a law enforcement officer utilizes use of force in the performance of his duties, and the use of force is questioned. This procedure allows for due process and transparency, ensuring that an unbiased and thorough investigation is completed. The NCSBI will collect information and present the factual evidence collected to the District Attorney’s Office for review. Additionally, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting an internal investigation to ensure proper policy and procedures were followed. The School Resource Officer has been removed from his assignment and is on administrative duties while the investigation is carried out.

An investigation is underway by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney’s Office.

Columbus County Schools released the following statement Wednesday afternoon on the incident:

On May 17th, 2022 a fight between two students at South Columbus High School occurred, requiring the school’s resource officer to intervene. Concerns have been expressed regarding the nature of the force used by the officer in stopping the fight.

Safety is the number one priority for our school system and resource officers play a vital role in maintaining a safe and orderly learning environment. It is important when questions arise related to officer actions that a full and complete investigation occurs. Transparency is key in maintaining a positive relationship between our students, community and resource officers. We recognize that the Sheriff’s Office is making sure this occurs by referring the matter to the NCSBI and District Attorney, Jon David. We will fully cooperate with the investigation into the officer’s actions, and support the review requested by the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.

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