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Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools board members to meet on safety Thursday

The board is not expected to take action but parents hope to hear ideas that can stop school violence in the future.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education members will meet to talk about school safety Thursday.

It comes a little over a month after a deadly shooting inside Mount Tabor High School.

The Board of Education is not expected to take any action when it convenes at 8 a.m. Parents can attend the meeting at the district's office on Bethania Station Road but masks are required.

The district will also stream it live on the WS/FCS Cable2 webpage.

Parents are eager to hear school board members discuss ideas that can stop similar shootings from happening in the future.

"We do not want to be in a situation where violence is happening and we're just reacting to it," Sarah Green said. "What we've seen in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is community violence that is coming into our schools. We need to address the roots of those problems."

School leaders have said they believe parent engagement is key but Valecia Young said joining the conversation at her daughter's school is harder than it sounds due to COVID.

"It's an understandable thing but I also find it disconcerting because I haven't heard from the PTA this year," Young said. "I would love to engage with my child in the school to see what's going on, to build a rapport with the teachers and administration."

Community groups like Action4Equity said it thinks more mental health resources will foster better relationships rather than increasing physical security.

"I know a lot of people have been pushing for more school resource officers and metal detectors but I don't believe that's the answer," Ricky Johnson said. "I think that's a Band-Aid fix and it's reactionary."

Johnson is the Director of Policy and Community Outreach for Action4Equity.

All agree it will take the entire community to improve safety at schools, meaning they think more conversations will be needed.

The district is planning to get feedback from parents at three community meetings. The first one is set for October 14.