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School tasers idea floated

One state legislator is interested in coming up with a bill that would allow trained teachers and administrators to use tasers to thwart school violence, the news@norman website reports.

Rep. Jason Saine, a Republican from Lincolnton, made the remarks at a meeting of school and county officials on Monday, according to the website, which is the online version of community newspapers in the Denver and Lake Norman areas.

Saine said he has asked the research and bill-drafting staffs to look into it, and said he will be talking to the state Department of Public Instruction for its input.

“This bill could potentially allow for something reasonable that bridges the gap between leaving our school teachers and their students totally helpless in these situations versus full on armed weaponry in a classroom,” Saine said.

Cooper calls for stronger school violence protections

Following President Obama’s gun violence prevention announcement Wednesday, state Attorney General Roy Cooper called on the General Assembly to revisit recommendations from a 2006 school safety study that he led.

Those recommendations included putting more resource officers in schools, setting up a statewide school tip line to anonymously report tips, training for teachers on recognizing potential threats and responding to them, and re-establishing the Center for the Prevention of School Violence.

Some of the study’s recommendations were enacted, including routine lockdown drills and improved building security. Informational packets were also given to schools to help prepare for violence and other crises.

“We hope that this tragedy never happens at any of our schools, but we must take steps to prevent it and be ready in case it does,” Cooper said in a news release. “North Carolina should make sure every school and every law enforcement professional has the right tools and training.”

What does the Juvenile Justice Secretary do?

Supervises the state's interactions with young criminals and at-risk youth.

Supervises the state's interactions with young criminals and at-risk youth.

As head of the N.C. Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the governor-appointed secretary oversees juvenile court services and crime prevention programs.

Divisions include the Center for the Prevention of School Violence, the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council and community programs.

In North Carolina, youths age 15 and under are tried through the juvenile justice system. Those 16 and older are tried as adults.

The department was created in July of 2000 under Gov. Jim Hunt. It is the youngest of 10 Cabinet-level positions in North Carolina.

The first secretary was former Winston-Salem police chief George Sweat. He served through the final months of Gov. Mike Easley's second term. His successor, current Secretary Linda Wheeler Hayes, is the first woman to head the department.

The department is outlined in general statutes under Article 12 of G.S. 143B.

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