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Recent school violence causing alarm for prospective teachers

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Recent incidents of violence in some Craven County schools is causing alarm for those training to become teachers.

Police say on April 12 a Havelock Middle School student, between the ages of 12 and 15, was charged with assaulting a school employee or volunteer, assaulting a law enforcement officer, injury to personal property, and disorderly conduct around students.

"It is being handled accordingly, according to board policy to ensure student and staff safety," said Jennifer Wagner, spokeswoman for Craven County Public Schools.

And last month, on March 8, two Havelock High School girls were arrested for beating another student in the classroom.

In a separate incident off-campus, Havelock High School junior 18-year-old Jonathan Pugh was arrested for first degree murder in the April 14 death of a bar bouncer a block away from his school.

Craven Community College student Quincy West, who's studying to become a teacher, says the attacks on school campuses are disheartening.

But he's not giving up his goal of becoming an elementary school English or science teacher.

"I still have a great passion for doing it and I still have this thought process that I can change students thought process and do that," said West.

He believes teachers can have a powerful influence on students, strong enough to keep them from going down the wrong path.

"You don't want to see anybody that young in those types of situations. You want to try to avoid it as best as possible," said West. "But you want to sit down and talk to those students you may potentially have problems to let them know there are different routes and resources to get past those situations."

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, seven percent of teachers reported last year they were threatened or attacked by a student from their school.

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