Colleton Co. to bring community members into school to stop violence

The Colleton County School District has a new plan to stop some of the violence that’s been going on in schools.
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 5:17 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2022 at 6:48 PM EST
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Colleton County School District has a new plan to stop some of the violence that’s been going on in schools.

“Operation Cougar Nation” is a collaboration between the business community, led by the chamber of commerce and the school district, as a response to some of the violence in the community that’s spilling into the schools.

“There definitely is a need for us to come together as a community of learners to be able to address some of the violence,” Dr. Vallerie Cave, district superintendent, said.

Starting in January, business owners, parents, students, family members, the military, or anyone who wants to volunteer, will be able to come into Colleton County Schools in hopes of increasing positivity, as long as they can pass a background check, which is paid for by the district.

“Our communities build our schools, because our schools are only as strong as our communities make them,” Cave said.

The volunteers will help monitor the halls, bathrooms, and parking lots to build relationships with children.

Cave said she hopes the program will decrease referrals like tardiness, fighting, and any other kind of infractions.

Cave says they have an insurance reserve fund that covers liability.

Lisa Capshaw’s son is a student at Colleton County High in his first semester, after being homeschooled his whole life. She says his experience has been “absolute chaos.”

“Fights going on in the hallways, my son’s trying to get to class and there’s a fight going on he can’t even get to class or if he’s trying to get to class,” Capshaw said.

Capshaw says her son has decided to leave the school and go back to homeschooling.

“I don’t think that parents coming in and walking the halls should be a necessity to keep the school safe and keep an environment that promotes education, that shouldn’t be a necessity,” Capshaw said.

The program is going to start out at the high school because that’s where the greatest need is right now but if they get enough response it will move to middle school.

“Safety and security is priority for our school district and we’re gonna continue to do our very best to make sure that we’re providing the greatest learning environment we can for our students,” Cave said.

As of now, over 50 people have signed up for the program, but they are looking to start with about 100 volunteers so they can do shifts. You can go to the district office or go to the district’s website to sign up.