Parents concerned after principal sends email about recent missing persons cases involving students

Parents concerned after principal sends email about recent missing persons cases involving students
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 4:55 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Some parents in New Hanover County are concerned for their child’s safety at school after a principal’s email highlighted recent missing teenagers.

New Hanover High School Principal Philip Sutton sent an email to families Tuesday night addressing recent missing person cases involving young people.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with multiple New Hanover High School students that are considered missing,” the email says.

Several teenagers have indeed gone missing in recent weeks. New Hanover County School officials confirmed Miyonna Jones attended NHHS before she disappeared last week. The district deferred to the police department when we asked about other students that have gone missing.

WPD has posted about several missing teenagers in recent weeks, including Jones and another missing 16-year-old, Steven Allen Jr. Other teens who have gone missing in recent weeks have since been found. Police could not share which schools they attended, referring WECT back to the school district for more information.

Many parents took to social media to voice their concerns. One mother said she was hesitant to take her child to school on Wednesday. However, she says she feels slightly better after having a phone conversation with the principal about the email.

“An earlier message from the school that referenced ‘multiple students’ was inaccurate,” said NHCS Chief Communications Officer Josh Smith in a Facebook post. “We apologize for any confusion this has caused in the community.”

Sutton’s email also says that supportive resources from the district are available for students and staff as they process these incidents.

WECT reached out to Sutton directly but has yet to hear back.