This time of year, most people are getting ready to celebrate the Christmas holiday season. All the joys and happiness of family gatherings and celebrating a hopefully-better new year. Unfortunately, the Wake County family of a Southeast Raleigh High School student, Devin Ferrell, will not be celebrating this holiday season; they will instead be celebrating their son’s young life that was lost in a senseless and tragic event on another public-school campus in America.

On Monday morning, Nov. 27, a young student was stabbed and subsequently died due to this tragic event. Could this have been prevented? Well, let us see… My first question when I heard this deadly assault had occurred was, “Does Southeast Raleigh High School have metal detectors or weapon detection systems in place?”

Superintendent Taylor of Wake County Schools told ABC-11 News, “As superintendent, I can tell you, there is nothing more important than the well-being and the safety of our students.”

Taylor said that Wake County does not utilize metal detectors as a safety mechanism but said that school resource officers (SROs) are able to search students if they have a “reasonable suspicion that a student has a weapon.” This is an unsatisfying answer to my first question.

The next question to ask is, who gets the blame for this young student losing their life that fateful day? There is plenty of blame to go around. Primarily, the student who stabbed and murdered another student. Secondly, the Wake County Public School System for spending $6.9 million on a system that checks a person’s background… but not for weapons. After WCPSS spent that grant money on a background checking system, they went and asked for more money! And for what, you might ask? For safety and security!

Next door to Wake County is Johnston County. They received the same amount in grant funds, and they used it on weapon detection systems and placed SROs in every public school in Johnston County.

Now, I know there are those in the WCPSS and on the current Wake County school board that will say, “Wake has more schools and there is only so much money to go around.” That may be true. My question to those individuals would be: What is the price on a Wake County public school student?”

I would say that if this county can throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at an overpaid diversity, equity, and inclusion office, WCPSS needs to use common sense and allocate that money to the security and safety of every public school in Wake County. My questions to those in charge are: What is more important, making sure someone’s feelings are not hurt, or making sure that every student in Wake County goes home alive? What’s more important, having a visitor login system that checks backgrounds or scanning and checking each student and visitor for weapons?

All that said, I would first like to address the parents and citizens of Wake County. When it’s time to vote in your local elections, remember this day! Do what is best for your child/children that attend public schools in Wake County. If the current WCPSB, and the current and newly hired WCPSS superintendent, cannot and will not properly protect your child, vote them out and get them out! Your duty as a parent should be to elect people that have the best interest in your child’s safety and security.

Lastly, I address the WCPSS, Superintendent Robert Taylor, and the school board with this in case they do not know… Feeling safe and being safe are two different things! Put your money where your mouth is, or better yet, put that taxpayer and grant money where it should have gone in the first place, proper protection for each student on Wake County public school campuses.