CHAPEL HILL, NC – Officials with Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) are sending online surveys out to families of students in middle and high schools to find out how the district can make the learning environments safer for students.

The online survey will be sent to families on Thursday, and they will have until May 22 to complete it.

It’s an anonymous survey that will ask families how safe their students feel at school. Additionally, it will also ask for their thoughts on the School Resource Officer (SRO) program at the school.

“We want general perceptions of how safe our family and students feel in schools,” Andy Jenks, the spokesperson for CHCCS, said.  

The survey is going out to families one week after a school fight between a group of girls at East Chapel Hill High School.  

As CBS 17 previously reported, a fight broke out in the hall between a group of girls were talking on Thursday, May 5.

School officials told CBS 17 it was several minutes before the students were separated.

A separate fight then started in the parking lot, and the district said a family member assaulted a police officer.

Jenks said the district has been planning to send out this survey long before the fight last week at East Chapel Hill High School, but the fight enhanced why finding out this information is critical.

Jenks said this survey will help the district determine how to improve safety at the schools and determine the future of the school resource program.

CBS 17 asked Jenks if there is a chance the SRO program could be taken out of CHCCS.

“At this moment, we want to hear from our community about school safety and about the school resource program, and only after that will we be fully informed in terms of what the future might look like,” Jenks said.

CBS 17 learned through emails sent to parents that there have been at least four fights at East Chapel Hill High School this school year.

In one of the fights, a student sprayed pepper spray and other students had to be treated and observed by the school nurse.

“I pick up my kid every day and he tells me stories about fist fights and they’re having to call 911,” Amanda Kolman said, a parent of a student at the high school.

Currently, there is at least one school resource officer at each middle school and high school in the district.

Kolman told CBS 17 last week that with fights on the rise in East Chapel Hill High School, she thinks students need all the protection at school they can get.

“The school resource officers are a safety element in the school, so why anyone would decide that’s a budget to cut, when these things are escalating, it boggles the mind,” Kolman said.

CHCCS families will have until May 22 to complete the survey.

CHCCS administration will present its final report concerning school safety, as well as security and the future of the SRO program at the June 2 Board of Education meeting.

The board will make a decision concerning school safety and the future of the School Resource Officer Program on June 16.