SROs in elementaries

Sergeant Mayfield in his office. Photo by Ben Tignor

“To protect and to serve” is a motto adopted by countless police departments across the nation. Nowhere else in law enforcement is this mantra so pertinent as in the role of a student resource officer. Student resource officers, or SROs, are critical resources for the security of public schools across the nation. The role is not just one of law enforcement, but of community representation and personal relationships. In Carrboro-Chapel Hill, we have an officer in every middle and high school, but our elementary schools lack the same protection.

In the past few months, the district has been deliberating over the decision of whether or not to implement SRO positions in our elementary schools.

The N.C. Special Committee on School Shootings–formed as a result of the recent wave of highly publicized school shootings in the US–is making the decision. Through the consultation of the CHCCS community and relevant organizations, the committee created and presented a report on the issue to Governor Roy Cooper in February. Months later, the decision is still up in the air.

“We’re a vital resource, not only for mentorship, but to have programs put in place, even for younger children, to get to know us and see us in a different light,” said Sargeant Mayfield, Carrboro High School’s own SRO.

It’s not unusual for districts to not place SROs in their elementary schools. Often times it’s simply not practical or feasible, especially in smaller districts.

“It does come down to a matter of resources and money. It’s a lot of money,” said Mayfield.

It can also be difficult to find the right person for the job.

“You don’t want a rookie police officer,” said Mayfield. “You want a veteran officer. Somebody that can make split-second decisions based on policy and law and the school.”

All of that can be hard to come by, especially considering that police departments are often hard-pressed to find new qualified hires in the first place.

“You need to have a personality that’s going to fit well in a school,” said Mayfield. To serve in an SRO position demands a completely separate set of soft skills–and even more so in an elementary setting.

“It’s even bigger. Now you’re going through the halls with the little tykes, trying to high five and fist bump them. You want to be that positive role model. You can’t just come in there and ‘lay down the law.’ That’s not what we do,” said Mayfield. “I’m not just an enforcer here. That’s not what I want to do. I’m here for you guys.”

Governor Cooper has yet to respond to the Special Committee report, and make a concrete decision.

Pending district sexual assault protocol

Typically, there are two responses to sexual assault and harassment on a school campus: the administrative response and the student services response. The administrative response has numerous guidelines on how to handle and punish the harmer, according to the code of conduct and disciplinary actions the school system has in place.

The student services response is less defined and varies depending on who is working with the student. Currently, there is no unified protocol to guide how the survivor is given support for the CHCCS district, which some think leaves room for bias and anxiety for both teachers and students.

The main issue with not having a sexual assault and harassment protocol is the unorganization of the response, which leaves students and teachers at risk. All teachers aren’t trained on how to work with and provide support for a sexually-assaulted student and could potentially make the situation worse. Schools who follow the same protocol typically have less room for error and unorganization, and can better help survivors.

“We work with a lot of students from the school system who have experienced sexual assault, some of whom reported it to their schools and some of whom didn’t, and so part of our job is helping them navigate what some of their opinions are and what their resources are,” said Rachel Valentine, the director of Orange County Rape Crisis. “And sometimes we find that the school system has done what they should have done and sometimes we find that they haven’t.”

Four years ago, the Orange County Rape Crisis Center (OCRCC) invited social workers and counselors to join a county-wide committee run by the OCRCC called the sexual assault response team. The team is made up of people who work at places where a sexual assault or harassment survivor might go to like the police, hospital staff, DSS agents and religious figures. At one meeting, the social workers and counselors were asked to describe the sexual assault and harassment protocols at their schools and found that they all handled them differently.

“I was asked to serve on the Orange County Sexual Assault Response Team several years ago. During my first meeting, various agencies were discussing their sexual assault response protocols, and I thought ‘wow, CHCCS doesn’t have one.’ This sparked an idea to create one. I talked with our liaison at Lincoln Center at the time, and we put together a team of local professionals who worked over a period of about six months to create the first ever Sexual Assault and Harassment Response
Protocol for CHCCS,” said Lisa DeCesaris, the Director of Student Services, in an email interview.

The team convened a group of diverse and representative officials. Over the course of a year, the group formulated a protocol that provided the best practices for trauma informed care. Trauma informed care practices focus on treating a person while taking into account the person’s past trauma and their resulting coping mechanisms. After creating the protocol, they took it to the Title IX officer for Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools, whose job it is to protect people from discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity in public school systems.

The committee shared the protocol with the superintendent, social workers’ meetings, counselors’ meetings, the principals’ meeting and the Safeschools committee. The school district restructured their student services branch and created a new position called the Director of Student Services, which is in charge of approving new protocols and practices. After two years, the protocol is still waiting to be approved and run by lawyers.

“We want everybody; we want particularly our social workers and counselors, to feel really competent and really confident that they know what to do in these situations because it allows them to be more present, and…to actually provide better care if they aren’t second guessing that they’re going to get in trouble for doing it this way or…that way,” said Rachel Valentine. “When there’s a protocol and everybody knows what they are supposed to do, the anxiety level goes down, and it allows people to be more human and be more present with survivors which is what survivors really need.”

To better give students the support they need, many believe that teachers should also be given the proper training, as well as principals and especially vice principals. Vice principals are in charge of the investigative and punishment side of the process, making it useful for them to understand how the student services process works in order to better do their job.

However, the school board has yet to approve the protocol. Without the proper motivation or reminder of the protocol’s existence, it won’t be put in place, leaving schools in Orange County with widely different ways of handling a very sensitive and impactful topic.

Positive beginning for Al’s Pub Shack

Entrance to Al’s Pub Shack

On Monday, April 8, Al Bowers, owner of Al’s Burger Shack, opened another restaurant near Governors Club, called Al’s Pub Shack. It is located at 50050 Governors Village.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday. They are currently closed on Sundays for now, but there is a possibility for brunch to be served on Sundays in the future.

Bowers explained his idea behind opening the Pub Shack.

“I opened the Pub Shack because I saw a void in a market there and thought it would be a good investment. Also, I wanted a place to hang out,” said Bowers in an email interview.

In addition to the menu’s differences from his other restaurants, the vibe of the restaurant likewise differs with table service, with a wait staff, bar with bartenders and multiple TVs, their sit-down restaurant differs from Al’s Burger Shack.

In contrast to Bowers’ other restaurants, Al’s Pub Shack’s menu features more  sandwiches than burgers, as well as a larger selection of sides and appetizers, but also dishes such as chili, fish and chips and a variety of desserts. With the food, also comes a wider selection of drinks for adults. Bowers explained the changes in the menu

“The menu is more diverse than the Burger Shack because it is a different concept. Because it’s a pub, we have all mixed beverages as well as wine and beer,” said Bowers.

With the Pub Shack being open for over a month now,  the reviews have been positive.

“The feedback has been mostly positive but we have a long way to go,” said Bowers.

With a varied menu, wide variety of drinks, and a friendly atmosphere, Al’s Pub Shack can easily become a family favorite, perfect for spending times with family or catching a game while grabbing a drink with your friends.

Weekly Sports Update

Every week the Jagwire will recap the sporting events from the past week. Check below to see the winners and scores from Monday, April 22 to Friday, April 26.

Men’s tennis lost to NCSSM on Monday in the quarterfinal round of the State tournament. The team finished the season 10-5 overall and 8-2 in the conference. Individually, singles players Cal Baruch and Aidan Chung and doubles team John Blobe and Jake Twer competed in the State tournament. Chung earned All-State honors.

Women’s soccer defeated Central Davidson on Wednesday 4-1 in the third round of the State tournament. The team plays again at home tonight against First Flight at 6:00. Be sure to show out to support the Jags.

Track will compete in the individual state tournament on Friday. The team competed in regionals last Friday where the Carter Macklin, Hannah Priesser and the women’s 4×800 won first place.

Be sure to check back next week for another sports update.  

The Chapel Hill Service Award

In a segregation-ridden community, the Chapel Hill school system was split into two separate schools: Chapel Hill High School and Lincoln High School. Now, over half a century later, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District has four separate high schools, in which students of all colors, creeds and backgrounds are enrolled.

Jock Lauterer, Carolyn Daniels, Dave Mason, Richard Ellington and Dr. John Allcott are all graduates of either Chapel Hill or Lincoln High from the sixties. Together, they have worked to create an award for two deserving local graduating high school students.

Many of these award founders experienced segregation during their childhood in Chapel Hill. Dave Mason even participated in the Chapel Hill Nine, a Civil Rights Era sit-in administered by nine men from Chapel Hill’s all-black Lincoln High School.

The award these leaders have established reflect the unjust times of segregation and how much our community has changed since then. There is an award that was given out to two students; A white student and an African-American student win the award based on demonstrating civic engagement in improving multiculturalism in our community.

Jock Lauterer, one of the creators of this award, commented on how the formation of this award came about.

“Dr. John Allcott came into some money and wanted to do something meaningful with it,” said Lauterer.

He gave some background information of what it was like for him and the other creators growing up.

“We grew up in a Chapel Hill that was very segregated in the early 60’s,” said Lauterer.

He also mentioned what this award might look like in the future.

“The long term goal is to make this award an annual award and ideally for more people, but we just want to get started and get this going,” said Lauterer.

Each of the creators of this award are a part of the Joint Alumni Association. Lauterer spoke on what the Joint Alumni Association is all about.

“The Joint Alumni Association has the purpose of building new bridges and forging new relationships and encouraging your generation to think about the values of multiculturalism and to reward a kid from each cohort who we think deserves the cash award,” said Lauterer.

Dave Mason, a Lincoln High alumni from the sixties who helped establish the Lincoln H.S./Chapel Hill H.S. Joint Alumni Service award, gave insight into being part of the Chapel Hill Nine.

“I had an opportunity to participate in the very first sit-in in Chapel Hill; I was one of nine individuals and I can tell you that things have changed significantly… I feel like things have changed significantly but the matters of social change, social justice, and equity are still issues in 2019,” said Mason.

Subsequently, Mason reiterated what the award is all about and what they are looking for in the people who apply.

“We are looking for students who have the compassion to inspire change and the passion to sustain it,” said Mason.

Richard Ellington, another creator of the award, briefly established what his situation was growing up in Chapel Hill.

“I was a Chapel Hill High student and was in the class of ‘63 during the segregation period,” said Ellington.

He shared what the separation was like between Chapel Hill High and Lincoln High School.  “We were a mile apart in distance but a world apart in experience,” said Ellington.

Ellington is still frustrated about parts of our society, and how this award helps to mitigate some of the inequality in our area.

“One of the things that has bothered me so much about growing up in the segregation era and the aftermath, for so long we have wanted to do away with the separation, and now it seems like people want to resegregate and separate in society…We want to have people reach out to their neighbors and peers and be a part of the community and there’s an equality that we are pursuing,” said Ellington.

Dr. John Allcott, the primary benefactor and creator of this service award and CHHS graduate, described the separation between the two schools.

“There were separate ball games, separate leagues, separate bands,” said Allcott.

Finally, he related what this service award is all about and how it can benefit and progress society.

“I hope for a society with opportunity and we hope that with this award that we can teach about equity and the possibility that we can all find our way,” said Allcott.

This award is a fantastic way to improve multiculturalism and equality in society, and this is just the beginning of this award and its impact. In future years, this award could encourage a greater opportunity for multiculturalism and civil engagement to flourish in the Chapel Hill area.

Carrboro Celebrates Mother’s Day

Many people agree that their parents do a lot for them. They often balance busy work schedules with taking care of themselves and their kids, while finding time to go above and beyond expectations. For high school students, parents can offer words of encouragement when students are stressed or tired, and help make sure that students’ days and years run smoothly.

On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, people of all ages appreciate these parental contributions. This year, Mother’s Day was Sunday, May 12. Many students at Carrboro took time to celebrate their moms in a variety of ways.

“I walked my dogs for my mom, so she could go out bird-watching,” said Cici Sullenger, senior.

Many teachers at Carrboro are also parents themselves, and they too were recognized this Mother’s Day.

“My kids made me a strawberry shortcake,” said Robin Bulleri, CHS science teacher. “That was one of my favorite parts.”

Students agree that moms play an important role in their lives and in the Carrboro community.

“I appreciate that my mom is always caring and always there for me,” said Sullenger.

Even though Mother’s Day is only one day a year, moms’ work is year-round, and there is a lot to appreciate no matter what day it is.

Weekly Sports Update

Every week the Jagwire will recap the sporting events from the past week. Check below to see the winners and scores from Monday, April 22 to Friday, April 26.

Men’s tennis won in the first round of postseason 5-1 on Tuesday. The team plays next Monday against NCSSM in the quarterfinal round and will compete individually in the NCHSAA state tournament tomorrow.

Softball also played in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday. The team fought hard but lost a tough game to South Columbus. The team finished the season 10-5 overall and 8-3 in the conference.

Women’s soccer shutout Oak Hill in the first rounds of their postseason and will play again tonight against East Duplin.

Be sure to check back next week for another sports update.  

CHS blasts off to NASA

Airplanes in the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located in Chantilly, VA. Photo courtesy Hank Hultman

On April 23, students from the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Aerospace and Engineering classes left for a three-day field trip to visit the NASA headquarters in Washington, DC. Around 20 students of all grades went with advisors Jeffrey Arthurs and Caroline Morais, PLTW teachers.

“This NASA trip will be such a great experience. We will see how the things we are supposed to learn every day are applied to the real world and how actual engineers teach us,” said Hudson Magee, senior.

For several weeks, PLTW students have been preparing for the special trip by creating their own rockets and learning models and programs similar to the software used at NASA.

   On Tuesday, students got to visit the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Along with looking at various spaceships and machines used during past explorations, students got to meet with John Mather; Mather is a famous astrophysicist and recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize for his discoveries related to the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite (COBE.) He is now the current senior astrophysicist at GSFC.

Along with visiting NASA headquarters, students visited the National Gallery of Art, the National Archives Museum and toured various historical attractions around Washington.

“My favorite part of the trip was walking around the aerospace museum and seeing the Discovery, it was such a fun field trip,” said Cici Lounes, junior.

Included below are student photos from the field trip.

Seniors Hank Hultman (left) and Noah Friedman (right) pose in front of a space shuttle at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Photo courtesy Hank Hultman
Senior Josh Coyne (far right) next to Nobel Prize winner and astrophysicist John Mather (center). Photo courtesy Josh Coyne
Students view a map of sea surface temperature at the Goddard Space Center. Photo courtesy Hank Hultman
Students viewed the aircraft Discovery at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Photo courtesy Hank Hultman

NHS hosts car wash fundraiser

On Saturday, April 27, the CHS National Honors Society is hosting a car wash in the parking lot near the tennis courts of Carrboro High. Student members have put up self-designed posters around the school to showcase the event.

NHS members are hosting the car wash as a fundraiser: money earned from the event will be utilized as a reward that comes with a scholarship that NHS members and advisor Mrs. Barkdolloni are in charge of. This scholarship, called the Montoya Scholarship, was created to honor the late Ms. Montoya, a math teacher at CHS.

Although the carwash is free, donations upwards of five dollars are strongly encouraged. NHS, however, is willing to accept any monetary donation to finance the scholarship.

Bring your car to get washed on April 27 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Carrboro High School. Be there to show support for the NHS club of CHS!

Anonymous candidate runs for SGA president

Anonymous candidate Hacky Sack posted this to their Instagram page to announce their presidential run.

As May approaches and the school year begins to wind down, students all around CHS prepare for a very crucial time of year: student government association (SGA) elections. This year, among the students clamoring for senator, treasurer and presidential positions, was a unique candidate: a hacky sack.

Hacky-Sack, an anonymous online presence communicating to the masses primarily through Instagram, is a potential presidential candidate, or at the least, is trying to be.

“My goal with this movement was to create a character that transcended social status and a character who made progress based on things like clever posts and responding to comments…I want people to vote based on who they think has the most merit,” said Hacky Sack in an email interview. During the interview, the owner of the account chose to stay anonymous.

Hacky Sack first announced their intentions to run with an Instagram post on April 19 and quickly garnered student support, encouraging that, “the revolution is now!”

“My platform is to remove all school rules that conflict with the interest of hacky sacks. This includes the ban on hacky sacking. I also want to create a hacky sack team and replace the school mascot with a hacky sack,” said Hacky Sack.

In an Instagram poll by the JagWire, 56 percent of students said they would write in or vote for Hacky Sack. But with elections Friday, April 26, and inanimate objects banned from the ballot, many students are wondering what Hacky Sack’s true goals are.

“It is very clear to everyone, I hope, that the page is satire. The purpose of satire in my opinion is 5% to convey a message and 95% to make people laugh…I am running to make people laugh, give people something to remember, and to try to create a universal figure,” responded Hacky Sack.

Although the “movement” is mostly a farce, Hacky Sack noted they became inspired because of an issue they found with CHS student government elections.

“What I have a problem with is the culture that surrounds SGA elections. Students treat SGA elections like they are required to vote for their friends regardless of how much work they’ve put into the campaign,” said Hacky Sack. “I keep myself anonymous because I above all else want to know that I gathered support not just because my friends felt obligated to support me but because people respect and are entertained by what I am doing.”

Results for the election will be tallied after voting finishes Friday. While Hacky Sack may not make the final cut, their message has still pervaded the school, engendering debate over the process of SGA elections, and whether they are influenced by popularity, rather than qualification. “I’ve talked extensively with the SGA members and organizers in the last two days and they are, in my opinion, doing a good job. I’m poking fun at the culture around SGA…My overall message is that I just want to remind everyone that you might want to help your friend but at the end of the day you should vote based on merit,” said Hacky Sack.