From the desk of Senator Joyce Waddell

School Safety and Bullying Prevention

Joyce Waddell

CHARLOTTE, NC – Butler High School’s incident that resulted in a fatal shooting is one too many that has been experienced in schools across the nation. Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said during a press conference on Monday, that the tragedy was the result of conflict between two individuals which began from bullying.

School safety has been a top priority for legislators as the number school shootings are increasing. North Carolina legislators have continuously supported policies to address bullying and violence in schools. Senate Bill 526 (Prevention of Bullying and Violence in School) was introduced in 2009 mandating that school administrations adopt procedures for reporting and investigating acts of bullying and harassment. This bill was aimed at establishing guidelines for the prevention of bullying including behavior motivated by gender identity or sexual orientation.

During the 2018 short session, Senator Waddell was a primary sponsor of Senate Bill 737 (Safer Schools, Healthier Kids Act), which called for common sense gun law reforms. Safer Schools, Healthier Kids Act, would raise the age from 18 to 21 to purchase assault-style rifles and prohibit sales. The bill also enacts risk protection orders which allow judges to temporarily confiscate guns from citizens who may be a physical threat to themselves or others. This bill was not brought to the floor to vote.

“I am deeply saddened to hear that the community has to suffer another tragedy from school shooting. As an educator it is extremely important that our students receive the support required to remain focused on their education and not worry about challenges from their environment during school hours,” said Senator Joyce Waddell.