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Rocky River High School is one of the high schools undergoing increased security searches in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg district.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg district begins increased security checks at some high schools

Superintendent called for bolstering security after a fatal shooting last year at a district high school.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) School District has begun security screenings at two of its high schools in an effort to crack down on weapons

The Charlotte Observer reports that the district carried out searches Tuesday morning at Garinger High in Charlotte and Rocky River High in Mint Hill. They are the first two of eight schools that will receive more stringent security after being chosen in a lottery.

District personnel searched four classrooms at each school and no weapons of any kind, Chief Communications Officer Tracy Russ says. Each school’s screening took about an hour.

Superintendent Clayton Wilcox promised to bolster security after a fatal school shooting on Oct. 29, 2018, at Butler High in Matthews, N.C., and the discovery of guns at four other high schools in the three weeks that followed.

The eight schools targeted for searches were chosen Monday. District leaders put the names of all 19 full-sized high schools into envelopes, and the co-chair of the superintendent’s interfaith advisory committee chose eight. The identities of the schools are not being disclosed until the searches are done.

Russ says more screenings may take place Tuesday. The district has outlined three options: pulling students out of a few classrooms, searching one building on a campus, or bringing all students on a campus to a central location for screening. All the searches involve looking into students’ bags and using metal-detector wands to check students.

Once Charlotte-Mecklenburg acquires a gun-sniffing dog, that will be part of bag searches. The district has said students will not come into contact with the dog.

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