JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Northside High School students returned to classes on Tuesday, less than a week after a student was stabbed to death and two others, one a teacher, were injured last Thursday.

Community still in shock after student stabbing death

Member of the Onslow County Schools Crisis Team was at the school and will remain there as long as needed, according to school system spokesman Brent Anderson. The OCS board of education was also scheduled to meet for the first time Tuesday evening, and school safety was expected to be brought up.

Parents now, more than ever, are wanting reassurance that their child is safe once they are at school. This comes after OCS sent out a statement to parents Monday evening about the implementation of new safety measures to ensure their students are protected.

Click here to read the statement.

(Claire Curry, WNCT photo)

Mental safety at school

WNCT’s Cheyenne Pagan spoke with a clinical mental health counselor at East Carolina University. She said following this tragedy, now is the time for parents and teachers to check in with students and be involved in their lives.

“We just stayed in this weekend,” said Mary Cooper, a parent. “And we talked about what happened. I asked if they have any concern. And we just went through it together.”

One parent said one of her four children that goes to the school had nightmares following last week’s incident.

“We’re working through,” Cooper said. “And if they continue, then we’ll look into counseling. But right now, we’re working through it and talking, having him talk it out. And he slept a lot better.”

All of this happened just four days into the school year. Now, experts say those who witnessed what happened can be facing shock and other emotions.

“There’s fear and, of course, the grief,” said Dr. Loni Crumb, Clinical Mental Health counselor and associate professor in a Counselor Education Program at ECU. “Keep in mind that the friends and family of the victim and the perpetrators of this thing will. All who experienced this event will all experience a sharp guilt, fear and grief.”

Crumb said for some students, walking through the front doors of the school could traumatize them all over again.

“What I initially think of is a fear for safety,” Crumb said. “So many places we go, we just have to do be cautious about what we’re doing, who were around.

“In our educational settings, which you would think were relatively safe, there’s definitely going to be our fear of safety and comfort returning to this environment.

“The main takeaway from this tragedy is if you see something, say something, usually there are things brewing up on social media amongst peer groups and circles.”

Overall safety at school

One of the things mentioned in the notice to Northside High School parents was more supervision on school grounds.

“There were more resource officers as well as undercover officers on campus,” said Kayla Stewart, a Northside parent. “There were volunteers from an organization that were also on campus, just to make sure that everything ran smoothly, and the students got back into the classroom safely today.”

Onslow County Schools officials said some teachers already have hand-held metal detectors. There is a possibility of putting in permanent metal detectors in the school in the future.

“Maybe another SRO would help,” said Carlton Ramsey, another parent. “The metal detectors sound like a good idea. But you got 500-plus kids coming in from buses getting parents dropped off, it’d be kind of hard.”

(Claire Curry, WNCT photo)

Another parent who spoke to WNCT’s Claire Curry said they encouraged parents to talk with their children about what is happening in their personal lives and pick up on changing behaviors.

“If you talk to your child every day on a daily basis, you can tell a shift in their behavior or shift in their routine,” Stewart said. “And that’s when we start noticing things going a little left or a little right. But it does start with behaviors at home.”