Appointments to the state House Select Committee on School Safety were announced by Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) Tuesday in a press conference held at the LeGrand Center in Shelby, North Carolina.
Rep. Jamie Boles, who represents part of Moore County, was named to the committee.
The House members represent a range of experience in education, law enforcement and mental health policy on a committee tasked with examining safety standards and procedures throughout North Carolina’s elementary, middle and high schools.
The committee will seek expert input on securing the state’s classrooms and educational facilities in the wake of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 students and faculty dead and more than a dozen wounded.
“As parents, our highest priority is keeping our children safe,” said Moore.
“It starts with building safer schools in the capital construction phase and maintaining secure education facilities every day across North Carolina. It is our duty to provide the highest level of physical security for our kids’ classrooms through access control, surveillance and training.”
“This committee will evaluate current state policy and examine recommendations to best protect our precious children and educators.”
Moore said the state House Select Committee on School Safety will consult with local governments, school systems and policy experts in a range of fields to address violence prevention, emergency management and security in North Carolina classrooms.
Rep. John Torbett (R-Gaston) was named committee co-chairman and attended the announcement on Tuesday.
“The safety of our children at school is a broad and complex issue that requires interagency collaboration, public and private input, and an offensive as well as defensive plan to solve,” Torbett said.
“We must do all we can in this effort to prevent these senseless tragedies by identifying risks and emerging trends with a comprehensive approach to school climate and student discipline policies.”
House Rules Chairman David Lewis (R-Harnett) was also named co-chairman of the school safety committee and joined his colleagues at the announcement in Shelby.
“I am grateful for the Speaker’s appointment to this vital committee,” Lewis said.
“We need a comprehensive approach that looks at the whole problem of school safety, from security to mental health. Our parents and children deserve state leaders that will give serious attention to this issue, and that’s exactly what we will do.”
Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln) is among the appointees and attended the announcement:
“All of us believe that we can do more to keep our kids safe every day,” Saine said.
“This is a commitment to empowering educators to protect our students with the highest level of security possible in North Carolina classrooms.”
Other House members in attendance noted that local school systems looked to the state legislature for leadership on securing education buildings.
“The core and original function of state government is to protect our citizens from harm and educate our young people in a safe and productive learning environment,” said Rep. Dana Bumgardner (R-Gaston), who attended the event in his neighboring county and was appointed to the school safety committee.
“We must use knowledge and experience to prevent attacks and protect those most vulnerable. These are our first duties to the people of North Carolina.”
Rep. Kelly Hastings (R-Cleveland, Gaston) was named to the school safety committee Tuesday and attended the announcement in his House district.
“Every education community is unique,” Hastings said. “We’re here to give schools the resources and flexibility they need to implement security measures that best protect every student and teacher. It’s an honor to reaffirm that commitment with Speaker Moore and our colleagues in the 110th House district today.”
Additional appointments to the House Select Committee on School Safety:
Representative David Lewis, Co-Chair
Representative Nelson Dollar
Representative Brenden Jones
Representative John Torbett, Co-Chair
Representative Jeffrey Elmore
Representative Donny Lambeth
Representative John Faircloth, Vice-Chair
Representative Elmer Floyd
Representative Marvin Lucas
Representative John Bell
Representative Rosa Gill
Representative Chris Malone
Representative Larry Bell
Representative Holly Grange
Representative Allen McNeill
Representative Mary Ann Black
Representative Pricey Harrison
Representative Rodney Moore
Representative Kelly Hastings
Representative Garland Pierce
Representative William Brawley
Representative Cody Henson
Representative Stephen Ross
Representative Dana Bumgardner
Representative Yvonne Holley
Representative Jason Saine
Representative Justin Burr
Representative Craig Horn
Representative Sarah Stevens
Representative Carla Cunningham
Representative Pat Hurley
Representative Larry Strickland
Representative Ted Davis
Representative Verla Insko
Representative Harry Warren
Representative Jimmy Dixon
Representative Darren Jackson
Representative Donna White
Representative Josh Dobson
Representative Linda Johnson