Monday, 10 December 2018 16:57

Goodman explains new law on school threats to Richmond County school board

Written by
Rate this item
(1 Vote)
Dawn Terry, principal of Fairview Heights Elementary, center, stands with Richmond County Board of Education Chairman Wiley Mabe and Superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman after being presented a certificate for her school exceeding academic growth. Dawn Terry, principal of Fairview Heights Elementary, center, stands with Richmond County Board of Education Chairman Wiley Mabe and Superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman after being presented a certificate for her school exceeding academic growth. Pam Simmons - Richmond Observer

HAMLET — Dr. Cindy Goodman highlighted a recently enacted law that toughens penalties for threats against educational institutions during her last meeting as superintendent with the Richmond County Board of Education at Washington Street Elementary on Thursday.


The law, which went into effect Dec. 1, makes it a Class H felony to communicate a threat of mass violence on educational property or a place of worship.

According to the N.C. Association of School Administrators, the law “closes a previous loophole in school safety laws in which individuals making a false report of mass violence on school property could face a higher offense than making an actual threat.”

It also allows for a judge to grant probation, order a mental health evaluation and community service hours, as well as a conditional discharge of those found guilty if they are younger than 20. 

Messages about the new law were sent home throughout November.

“I want parents to be totally informed and talk to their kids about never saying anything close to threatening mass violence,” Goodman said.

Four students —Monroe Avenue fifth-grader Justin Flowers, Rockingham Middle sixth-grader Abby Chavis, Ninth Grade Academy student Chloe Monroe and Richmond Senior High senior Molly Meachem — were each presented awards as winners in the annual Christmas card art competition.

Dr. Jeff Maples, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction, recognized a number of schools and presented the respective principals with certificates for meeting or exceeding academic growth and presented the principals certificates. 

Ashley Chapel Educational Center, Cordova Middle, Monroe Avenue Elementary and L.J. Bell were honored for meeting academic growth; and East Rockingham, Fairview Heights, Washington Street, Mineral Springs and West Rockingham elementaries and Hamlet Middle and Ninth Grade Academy were awarded for exceeding academic growth.

Richmond Early College High School both met academic growth and had a 100 percent graduation rate.

Maples also spoke about the re-designation of Hamlet Middle as a “School to Watch,” one of only 400 in the country, which had been reported in late November. 

“We are committed to forming positive, nurturing relationships that encourage children to reach their full potential,” said Principal Karen Allen.

Budget amendments were presented to the board by Tina Edmonds and approved.

Each board member gave a report about his or her involvement in school activities over the past month. School visits, conference training in Greensboro, sports events, Early College Beta Club induction, Ram Fest, and musical performances were all mentioned. 

One of the board members said that many children won’t be having a good Christmas this year and challenged everyone in attendance to pick a child and make sure they are remembered this Christmas. 

Special words of appreciation were also given for the Richmond Senior High football program and coach Bryan Till. The Raiders won the Sandhills Athletic Conference title but fell to Myers Park in the state quarterfinals. 

Dr. Goodman expressed appreciation for all of the staff of the Richmond County Schools. 

“Good things are happening in our schools, and it is a total team effort,” she said. 

Director of Federal Programs Pam Patterson gave a brief report about a recent audit, recalling that the auditors said, “Richmond County Schools are light years ahead of other districts,” adding the auditors also said they “could sense consistency” in the district.

Executive Director of Auxiliary Services Dennis Quick requested that policies that were presented for adoption last month be approved. Following their approval, several other policies were presented to the board for their review. Quick also requested approval for two field trips — one for the wrestling team to participate in a two-day match in Charlotte, and one for teacher cadets to visit Raleigh. The board approved both of the trips. 

The board then went into closed session to discuss personnel issues.

 

Last modified on Monday, 10 December 2018 17:54