Southeast Raleigh High School will reopen for classes Thursday with extra security after a student was stabbed to death on campus this week.
In an announcement posted Wednesday on the school’s website, Principal Eddie Harden said the school has worked with its Student Support Services and Crisis Response teams for the past two days to prepare for the reopening.
Harden said this planning will ensure that any student in need of additional assistance Thursday and in the coming weeks will receive the help they need.
“All staff have received information and training to help them to identify students who may need support,” Harden said. “And we have a process in place to allow staff to connect students with this assistance quickly. Additional counselors from the district’s Crisis Response Team also will be on campus this week to provide support.”
Extra security on campus
As part of the reopening procedures, Harden said additional law enforcement and security personnel will be on campus Thursday. As part of his update, Harden told parents that “all students involved in Monday’s event have been disciplined” in accordance with school district policies.
“We continue to work closely with law enforcement, the WCPSS Security team and other partners to review and learn from Monday’s incident,” Harden said.
The school was on a Code Red lockdown for most of Monday following a fight involving multiple students that led to a 15-year-old student, Delvin Ferrell, being fatally stabbed and a 16-year-old suffering non-life-threatening injuries.
A 14-year-old student has been charged with murder and could be tried in adult court. His mother says she warned the school ahead of time that he was in danger of being attacked Monday by other students.
The school was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, school leaders said, to provide staff additional time to prepare for the return of the 1,400 students.
“We ask that you partner with us in reassuring students that it is normal to feel anxious, stressed and tired after events such as these,” Harden wrote to parents. “We are here to support all students who need assistance or space to process their feelings. If you feel that your student is showing signs of distress, please contact our school counselor.”
Community forum on Monday
The fatal stabbing has led to questions about what happened, including how the lockdown was handled.
A community forum will be held Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the school to hear from students and parents. Wake County Superintendent Robert Taylor, school board member Tara Waters and Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson will be at the forum.
“I remain in awe of the strength and resiliency I have seen from our Bulldog community this week,” Harden said as he closed out his letter. “Words are not enough to express my gratitude for the many ways you have come together to support our students and staff, especially during such an incredibly difficult time.
“The coming days will continue to be challenging, but I am thankful that we have each other and that we will continue to work through this together, as a family.”