Police checking safety at Rowland schools

By: Tomeka Sinclair - and Morgan Bishop - Staff writers

ROWLAND — The police chief told the Rowland Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that he will be reviewing the active shooter drill at Southside-Ashpole Elementary School.

Chief John Reaves said that in wake of the school shooting that left 17 people dead in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, principals at Rowland’s schools have been calling on the police department to conduct safety reviews at their schools.

Rowland Middle School Principal Adrian Sinclair-Davis, the first to reach out to him, contacted him about two weeks ago, Reaves said. The school did pretty well on the safety review.

“What I mostly look at is the doors — seeing if they work or if they even have locks,” Reaves said.

Reaves was impressed with the school’s new security system. It includes doors with electric locks and cameras that allow staff members to monitor and approve who enters the school.

Police will check Southside-Ashpole Elementary School today.

“I’m just going in and checking some holes and the weak spots in the school’s security,” Reaves said.

In other school news, a special musical performance in honor of Black History Month that featured four South Robeson High School students opened the commissioners’ meeting. Frank Andujar, Cariyah Scippio, Destiny Strickland and Shacliyah Branch performed two songs that address the state of racial tensions in America.

The first was “Glory,” a song by Common and John Legend written for the 2014 film “Selma.” The movie portrayed the 1965 civil rights marches in Alabama led by Dr. Martin Luther King.

The second song was titled “Powerful.” It was featured in the television series “Empire.” The song’s lyrics embrace the idea of a future of peace rather than animosity among people of different races.

In other business:

— Rep. Charles Graham informed commissioners that Rowland will formally be a part of his district, N.C. House District 47, beginning in January because of changes to district lines.

“I look forward to working with you,” Graham said. “I will support you with anything you need.”

— The commissioners authorized the purchase of new tires for a backhoe that has been used excessively because of Hurricane Matthew.

— Town Clerk David Townsend requested the board members discuss the need to provide a portable toilet for the Scotland County inmates who have been picking up trash. The board members agreed to consider the request.

— A resident expressed her concern about construction material on the side of the road at a near her home.The commissioners said they will look into the matter but can only levy a small fine.



Tomeka Sinclair

and Morgan Bishop

Staff writers

Tomeka Sinclair can be reach by email at [email protected] or by calling 910-309-3469. Morgan Bishop can be reached by email at [email protected]

Tomeka Sinclair can be reach by email at [email protected] or by calling 910-309-3469. Morgan Bishop can be reached by email at [email protected]