CMPD suggested metal detectors to CMS months before Butler High shooting

News

MATTHEWS, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — Officials with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools say they will be reviewing security procedures following a deadly shooting at Butler High School.

During a news conference Monday, Superintendent Clayton Wilcox admitted that the district “failed” in protecting students.

“Perhaps we will have to do some things that are a little more aggressive,” Wilcox said.

A more aggressive approach would be welcome to some students who worry it’s too easy for someone to bring a weapon on campus.

“No checkups, nothing, they basically just have a door with a little button they can unlock. If they see you are a student, they just let you in, they don’t check you or anything,” a Butler High student told FOX 46. “You can just walk in, you can have a gun, you can have anything.”

Sixteen year-old Bobby McKeithen was shot and later died Monday morning following a fight with another student, according to Matthews police. The shooter, 16-year-old Jatwan Cuffie, has been charged with first degree murder. Officials say bullying contributed to the incident.

LINK: Deadly shooting at Butler High School, suspect in custody

The killing comes two weeks after CMS announced a $9 million security upgrade to strengthen security at its 175 schools. The first phase included increasing video surveillance, controlling visitor access, and adding electronic locks.

Not included as part of the security upgrade are metal detectors, something Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney recommended to CMS earlier this year.

“Our conversation has ben around how can we be more proactive to prevent someone from getting into a school to do some devastation,” Putney previously said.

Wilcox decided against installing metal detectors at the front of CMS schools. Instead, the decision was made to train teachers in active shooter survival. The superintendent previously expressed interest in the use of security wands, but said cost was a concern along with the ability to secure portable classrooms.

“We don’t actively search every bag that comes into school each and every day,” Wilcox said. “I can’t promise miracles, but I can promise that we’ll move heaven and earth to keep our kids safe.”

Police would not say how the student was able to get a gun on campus. It’s unclear what security measures will change moving forward.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories