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Beaufort County principal named to McCrory's school safety task force

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CHOCOWINITY, N.C. -

A principal from Eastern North Carolina is now an advisor to Gov. Pat McCrory as part of an effort to make schools safer.

Earlier this year, Gov. McCrory established the N.C. Center for Safer Schools. It developed dozens of recommendations, including a school safety task force that will advise lawmakers on future policy decisions.

He appointed 20 people to the diverse group, including Southside High School Principal Dale Cole, who is Wells Fargo’s 2013 Principal of the Year.

“Now you have a way that all of these ideas can be shared across the state,” says the Beaufort County leader. “And so I may hear something and I think, ‘Wow, that would really work for our older schools, we had not thought about that,’ and I can bring that back to our county."

Cole plans to push for cost-effective ways to add more school resource officers, classroom panic buttons and secure front doors.

"Once we are able to secure our campuses to the best of our ability, then I think spending money on mental health services for our students is a great investment," he says about his desire to add more social workers and counseling services for students and parents.

So, how much will it all cost?

Cole says until the group devises a list of state-wide safety priorities, it's tough to tell. But he thinks creating a task force in the first place is a sign policymakers are serious about spending the money to keep your kids safe. 

The task force hasn't set a date for its first meeting; but when they come together, Cole will collaborate with elected officials, lawyers, law enforcement officers, teachers and other principals from across the state.

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