Roundtable Charlotte: School Safety and Gun Violence

Filmed at Beatties Ford Road Regional Library.  Check out their classes and events here.


Roundtable Charlotte is a new video series from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s digital branch. The library is committed to improving lives and building a strong community. Roundtable Charlotte will explore a different topic monthly, focusing on issues that effect the Charlotte Mecklenburg region. This month, the topic of school safety and gun violence is discussed between educators, students, and law enforcement.


Here are our wonderful panelists in the video.

Kevin Poirier , Moderator

Technology Facilitator and Principal Intern | West Charlotte High School
Kevin Poirier is the Technology Facilitator and a Principal Intern at West Charlotte High School. Kevin was a 2012 Teach for America Corps member and previously taught science at West Charlotte. Kevin is a graduate of UCLA and previously lived in Los Angeles, but is now proud to call Charlotte his home.

Patricia Banega Segura

West Charlotte High School Student
Patricia is a senior at West Charlotte High School. She enjoys reading about politics and aspires to one day either become a school district superintendent, or lead a team in building groundbreaking prosthetics for children. Patricia is the former co-President of GenerationNation, an organization in Charlotte-Mecklenburg that connects classroom education with hands-on learning to build civic literacy and leadership from an early age.

Britney Dockery

Harding High School Student
Britney enjoys speaking to the school board, communicating with other youth councils, and sharing ideas on how she can help out the city of Charlotte and improve lives. She has a high GPA in the 11th grade at Harding high school and has big goals for the future.

Kadean Maddix

Math Teacher | Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools
Kadean Maddix is a native of Loganville, Georgia. He moved to Charlotte in 2014. Kadean is an 8th Grade Math teacher for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. He currently serves on the board of MeckPac and the Charlotte Collective.

Lieutenant Gene Lim

CMPD Community Services Bureau | Diversion and Youth Services Division
Lieutenant Lim has served with CMPD for 19 years. He has been assigned to many different roles but, notably, has prior experience as a Community Coordinator in the Westover Division and as a School Resource Officer. He now supervises all CMPD youth initiatives.

Show Notes and Excerpts

:45 Introductions. Why are you here, talking about this issue?

4:35 High School students, do you feel safe at school? — “I felt safe, until I didn’t feel safe.”

6:30 Considering the Parkland shooting, what do you see is the solution? —Having these conversations and hearing different perspectives from people that are in the schools. Student Resource Officers (SRO) 

11:55 Have there been changes in how CMPD (Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department) is looking at school safety and gun violence? –Everything is on the table and forces us to look at the collective. What are we doing well but also, what changes could we make. We want to add a layer of protection but don’t want it to feel like a prison and try to preserve the environment of learning.

15:25 Thoughts on student activism? –It’s our lives that are on the line. We have so much knowledge at our disposal and understand how powerful our voice can be. We are the woke generation and even though we are young, we can get the nation’s attention.

16:30 The conversation around comprehensive gun reform and control, is this a school safety conversation? Do we need less guns?  –People are scared of the topic of gun control because they think we want to take guns away and that’s not the case. We can see the need for common sense reforms.  There are no quick fixes, the problem is systemic.

21:30 Should we be open to the possibility of arming teachers with military backgrounds? –Doesn’t prevent a student from coming to campus. The relationships between teachers and students can go up and down everyday and I wouldn’t trust a teacher with a gun. The issue of violence is unique to America and we haven’t addressed the underlying issues. Mental health, poverty, etc.

28:05 What do you say to, “If only kids were nicer, and welcoming”? Some are making a correlation between school violence and bullying as well as mental health. Is it related to gun violence? –Sometimes being “nicer” to someone or befriending them when they have mental illness doesn’t prevent violence. Access to the weapons is an important factor. How and why did they get the gun? Why were they not flagged?

33:00 On being civically involved. –Learn to listen more and recognize that perspectives change. Having your ear to the community is key. Understanding that local politics plays more of a role in our lives than federal. The passion for change is needed and young people running for office is inspiring and brings in fresh ideas.

38:45 What’s on the horizon? Where do you see this going in the Charlotte Mecklenburg community? –Rethink the shooter drills, assign more psychologists, and make them more available. Start building cohesion among CMPD and CMS, especially including administrators, teachers, students, that are reporting to CMPD/CMS. Different departments and people interacting with each other provides a comprehensive response to issues. Definitely want to see more awareness and advocacy.

Mentioned in the video:

Generation Nation , a Charlotte-Mecklenburg organization that connects classroom education with hands-on learning to build civic literacy and leadership from an early age

Charlotte Observer article on CMS proposed budget contents:  Money for teacher raises, school safety will be in CMS budget plan, officials say

Charlotte City Councilmen Tariq Bokhari and Larken Egleston discuss city policies and their work on the council. R&D in the QC

Queens University of Charlotte, Knight School of Communications and Digital Charlotte project.

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