BCPS Superintendent Addresses School Shootings and Safety


In the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shootings, the Rotary Club of Morganton invited Dr. Larry Putnam, Burke County Public Schools Superintendent, to speak on school safety at the club’s Feb 28th meeting at the Morganton Community House. 

Rotary Club member Allen VanNoppen introduced Putnam, who began his presentation by noting that preventing school shootings is only one aspect of school safety. Transportation, health, and environment also play key roles in determining the safety and well-being of students.

“School safety is more than what you think,” Putnam said.

Putnam explained how all the school buses have GPS monitors, making them able to track anywhere in the county. Putnam also noted the BCPS telemedicine program, which addresses students’ individual mental and physical health needs.

According to Putnam, school safety is not only about how to stop an active shooter. It’s not only about having a fence around the perimeter, having more resource officers, having more mental health services, or having metal detectors. 

“All those things are important, but that’s not the fix,” Putnam said. 

He emphasized that having more modern facilities, safe transportation, appropriate communication with parents, positive role-modeling, and not panicking in the event of a school shooting are all key factors in ensuring school safety. 

To read The News Herald’s article on Putnam’s speech, click here.

Ellen VanNoppen