GRIMESLAND, N.C. (WNCT) — A school in Grimesland has more to offer than normal in their music class.

On Friday morning, students gather for band class at G.R. Whitfield School in Grimesland. But, in the mix of all of the students is School Resource Officer Antwon Holloway. 

“I was just chatting with him in the beginning when school was opening and I said ‘Come into band class, anytime’,” Tammie Haddock, music and band teacher at G.R. Whitfield, said.

G.R. Whitfield School Resource Officer Antwon Holloway (Courtney Cortright, WNCT photo)

“I’ve got all of these instruments from grants that have been provided. We’ve gotten over $110,000 the past three to four years. He showed up and the kids were like ‘Who’s that?” Like, ‘that’s our new sixth-grade band students there.’ Like, ‘it’s a little bit big for sixth-grade band students’,” said Haddock.

“I just walked into band class and told the instructor that I had a saxophone at home. And she said, ‘Hey, just come play with our class’,” said Holloway.

So, Holloway with his badge and all decided to add music class to his normal duties. 

Sebastian Allen is a student at G.R. Whitfield in Grimesland. He plays the trumpet and is in class with Holloway. 

G.R. Whitfield School Resource Officer Antwon Holloway (Courtney Cortright, WNCT photo)

“He’s a very good saxophone player. Officer Holloway is a very talented human being. He is very funny. He’s very kind,” said Allen.

Holloway took it as an opportunity to learn something new. It’s a great reminder to kids to never stop learning.

“It gives them something to look forward to. With me playing the saxophone. I never played before. So, I just picked it up with them. You’re never too old to learn anything, basically. So just do your best,” said Holloway.

“To have someone, especially with his personality, he’s always willing to talk to them. If he misses a couple of days when he walks through the door always, I’m going to give them a couple of extra minutes to be around him,” Haddock said.

“Throughout the whole school, one of our mottos is that we’re all in and he’s definitely all in and all over. He really shows us how you can live your best life and how you have to not be afraid to take chances and learn new things just because you’re an adult, you don’t have to stop that.”

Holloway is making connections in more ways than one. 

“There’s a bad light on a whole lot of law enforcement, agencies and departments around the country. They’re getting to see me doing something different and positive. Hopefully, that gives them another perspective of what we do,” Holloway said.

He said it’s important to make connections with the students.

“Build a positive relationship, relationship and rapport, if they have something going on, they can come to me,” Holloway said.

“Knowing that he’s here and he’s in this classroom, he’s in the buildings, and that he’s approachable. I think that makes a huge difference in their view of what an SRO should be,” said Haddock.

It doesn’t stop at band class. He also plays with the orchestra class when he can. Haddock said it gives students another chance to see the officer behind the badge. 

“You don’t think of your SRO being in your stem class or being in your band class, and being all over and showing the kids that, you know, they’re people first and they serve,” Holloway said. “Secondly, It feels awesome. They see me as another person, instead of just a law enforcement officer.”