The High Point Regional High School Board of Education is negotiating the district’s safety policy after a fight on Sept. 16 left a teacher unable to return to work as of Sept. 26.
Highlighting a report from High Point Education Association (HPEA) President Carla Mancuso, technology teacher Ben Kappler told the school board about safety concerns surrounding the school’s Unit Lunch period.
The school’s entire population eats lunch during one period from 10:34 a.m. until 11:28 a.m.
“We acknowledge that there are students who act responsibly, and they conduct themselves appropriately during Unit Lunch,” Kappler said. “However, other students eat lunch in 20 minutes, if they sit down at all to eat. Then they wander the halls for the rest of the lunch period. They’re pushing and shoving each other into lockers. The language was very disrespectful and rude.”
Kappler said due to a limited number of staff members, it is physically impossible to monitor all the areas students wander during the lunch period. He also said teachers don’t have a list of current emergency numbers, and are concerned about more dangerous situations that could arise.
Kappler said, as far as HPEA knows, an updated safety plan for Unit Lunch was not shared with staff when they returned to school after the COVID-19 closure in 2020.
Board of Education President Wayne Dunn said the board will not negotiate with HPEA in public, but did acknowledge he received a request from Mancuso to negotiate the safety plans. He said the school board is in the process of planning that meeting.