Saturday, June 22

Crime Trending Up at Asheboro City Schools

A patrol vehicle for a School Recourse Officer (SRO) sits out front of South Asheboro Middle School. (Scott Pelkey / Acme News)

ASHEBORO N.C. – Crimes at Asheboro City Schools have been and continues to trend upwards with more crimes reported to police in 2022 than 2021.

In recent police reports we know that between November 17th and 18th Asheboro Police responded to a fight-in-progress and a student in possession of marijuana at Asheboro High School, and a fight at North Asheboro Middle School. These reports are part of a trend noticed from evaluating police reports and 911 records since early September 2022.

By using 911 records to graph reported crimes we can see when comparing September and October of 2021 with the same months in 2022 that Asheboro High School, South Asheboro Middle School, and North Asheboro Middle School have all seen an increase in the number of reported crimes.

In October of 2022 Asheboro Police responded to ten separate calls for service at Asheboro City Schools.

  • On October 4, 2022, it was reported by a parent that a student had assaulted another student on the bus the afternoon before.
  • On October 11, 2022, an officer responded to Asheboro High School in reference to an administrator locating marijuana in a student’s bookbag.
  • On the night of October 16, 2022, an officer discovered vandalism at McCrary School. The vandalism occurred to one of the trailers on the property. The estimated damage to the trailer is $130.
  • On October 19, 2022, the assistant principal at Asheboro High School called for an officer in reference to an assault that had just occurred.
  • On October 20, 2022, an officer received a call from the Asheboro High School principal in reference to a student making threats in his presence.
  • On October 25, 2022, an officer was contacted by Asheboro High School reference to a student who had damaged a teacher’s property in class.
  • On October 26th, 2022, an officer witnessed an assault take place at SAMS.
  • On October 27, 2022, an officer was informed by Coach Brewer that while on the field a group of ASH students entered the weight room and went through several students’ belongings. Mr. Brewer was advised that money was stolen from two of his players.
  • On October 28th, 2022, an officer responded to Asheboro High School in reference to a vehicle parked at the school that was unoccupied and emitting an odor of marijuana. The Officer located the juvenile and conducted a vehicle search to which the Officer located contraband and weapons.
  • On Oct 28th, 2022, during the Asheboro High School football game, school personnel were requiring all persons attending the game to go through a metal wand detector. A juvenile noticed this procedure and told a nearby officer that they had a BB gun. The officer located a BB gun on the juvenile’s person and two other BB guns in their backpack. An SRO was contacted, and the juvenile was subsequently turned over to a parent. The SRO will be referring this case to juvenile services for potential charges.

During this time Asheboro Police also began investigating two separate sexual offenses (not listed above). One was reported at McCrary School on Oct 3rd, 2022, and a second sexual offense of a sexual act with a student which was reported on Oct 5th, 2022, at South Asheboro Middle School. Due to the nature of the victims in these cases no further information could be provided.

We spoke with Pam Resch with the Juvenile Day Reporting Center who said the organization does not have data for local youths served by year or month for the local juvenile justice system. Resch said that on average JDRC programs serve approximately 250 youths per year, but last year (2021) the JDRC served 1,200 youths. Resch believes the increase is due to more awareness of the program.

The N.C. Division of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (DJJDP) works to provide the State of North Carolina with a comprehensive strategy that helps prevent and reduce juvenile crime and delinquency. The latest annual last report on Juvenile Justice for 2021 was recently published.

While the report notes that while “juvenile crime in North Carolina continues to trend downward, an alarming new trend has been identified: juveniles being charged with firearm crimes.” This corresponds with gang-affiliated youth reported from 2021 to 2022 going from 980 in 2021 to 1,114 in 2021.

“School safety is of the utmost importance to Asheboro City Schools,” said Anthony Woodyard, Director of Technology & Innovation for Asheboro City Schools in an email. “We communicate regularly with the Asheboro Police Department and School Resource Officers. Although, we cannot predict if and when an incident requiring law enforcement might occur on one of our campuses, we take immediate and appropriate actions to address concerns as they arise.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has made data analysis of crime reporting more difficult. It is not possible to know at this time if more crimes are occurring, more crimes are being reported, or crime is returning to a “normal level”, but what is clear is that crime at Asheboro City Schools has been and continues to trend upwards.