March 25th , 2013 12:38 pm Leave a comment

Undercover operation sheds light on issues in county schools

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Carter County Director of Schools Kevin Ward said incidental security and safety issues discovered during the course of an undercover drug operation within the school system have already been evaluated and addressed.

During her 10 months embedded in three local high schools, Carter County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Donna Rogan’s undercover work resulted in more than a dozen arrests for drug-related charges, but through her unique perspective at the student level, she uncovered other issues needing attention.

At times, during lockdown drills performed to test the strength of the high schools’ security procedures, Rogan said students were able to freely move in and out of doors that were supposed to be locked.

Rogan also reported she was sexually assaulted in a classroom full of students while the assigned instructor was out of the room.

“We’ve corrected anything that we’ve been concerned with,” Ward said Friday. “We’ve looked at all the schools, the principals of the schools have met, and we’re looking at ways to make several things better, from test scores to student safety and operations.”

The director declined to divulge specifics regarding the sexual assault allegation, citing the privacy of the school personnel and any juvenile students involved, but said the issue was immediately corrected after the incident.

Ward said the breaches during lockdown drills were also addressed by refreshing the vigilance of staff members assigned to make security checks and ensure that policies are being followed.

“We’re working with supervisors and lead principals on a daily basis to look at some of those issues,” he said. “In many cases, the polices are already in place to address anything dealing with operations, but from time to time it may be necessary to shore up those policies.”

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