WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Students at Carver High School are returning to school Tuesday, following a shooting Friday that left one student hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries and another in custody of the Winston-Salem Police Department.
The school district and principal confirmed there will be a crisis team in place Tuesday at Carver, as well an increased presence of staff--including local law enforcement--at all Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
As of Tuesday morning prior to the 8:50 a.m. start time at Carver, there were as many as five police cars at a time in the parking lot and circle driveway of Carver High School. Several police cars also regularly were driving by the school on Carver School Road.
Winston-Salem assistant police chief Connie Southern explained the increased law enforcement presence at local high schools is for student "reassurance." "We're here for them," she said, though the officers do not want students to feel intimidated. Southern said local law enforcement is encouraged throughout the school year to periodically stop into and drive by the schools, so as to maintain a constant presence.
The principal said, "We (Carver) do not serve a student body that needs to be patrolled with armed guards." Superintendant Beverly Emory said, "This incident could have happened anywhere, not just in a school. It could have happened anywhere in our community."
Principal Ron Travis reemphasized he wants to reinstate normalcy as soon as possible. He, in accord with the Winston-Salem Police Department and school district, repeatedly emphasized Carver High School is "safe" and that this was an isolated incident between two students. They said no other teacher, student or staff member was a target in Friday's incident.
The school district superintendent and Carver principal reiterated they want to reinstate normalcy at Carver as soon as possible.
But, they acknowledged some students might need to talk about the incident. The district superintendent and principal said they are encouraging students to come forward and talk with a faculty member, if they feel threatened by or concerned about another student.
"You can't just pretend this didn't happen," Emory said. "If in a classroom, you have enough students that this is a discussion, it's a great time for teachers to reinforce [how to] talk to us, share information, here are the anonymous hotlines you can use."
Student Christopher Richardson, Jr. has been charged in the shooting, and the Winston-Salem police chief Barry Rountree said Monday in a news conference that Richardson remains in a Winston-Salem detention center and faces multiple charges.