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ACPD stepping up patrols of schools in wake of Texas shooting, Alexandria stabbing

Police at Kenmore Middle School due to security incident earlier this month (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Expect extra police patrols around Arlington schools today in the wake of yesterday’s deadly elementary school shooting in Texas.

“ACPD officers are conducting extra patrols near Arlington schools,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed to ARLnow this morning, noting that “there are no known threats to Arlington County.”

Montgomery County, Md. police and other local police departments have similarly stepped up security. The extra patrols also come a day after an Alexandria high school student was stabbed to death during a large fight at the Bradlee Shopping Center, near the Fairlington neighborhood.

Arlington’s School Board voted last year to remove School Resource Officers from school buildings, but Arlington Public Schools and ACPD still coordinate on safety issues and police still regularly respond to incidents at Arlington schools.

APS, meanwhile, told families today in an email that it has “support services in place and available to those who may be struggling with processing these events.”

“School staff will be providing developmentally appropriate responses to students, and students should reach out to a counselor or other trusted adult if they need support,” the school system said.

The full email to families is below.

Dear APS Families and Staff:

Today is a sad day for schools and all of us nationwide as we all collectively mourn the tragic loss of life that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, yesterday. Late yesterday, we also learned of an incidence of violence closer to home in Alexandria where a high school student was killed. These events follow other recent tragedies in Buffalo and other communities.

We condemn these senseless acts of violence and offer our deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones. I want you to know that the health and safety of our schools, and the students and staff in our care, remain our highest priority. We prioritize security in all our buildings, and our safety plans are reviewed by staff, in collaboration with local first responders, as we all work to maintain the safety and security of our schools.

We understand that our students and staff may need additional support during this time. We want to reinforce that we have support services in place and available to those who may be struggling with processing these events.

School staff will be providing developmentally appropriate responses to students, and students should reach out to a counselor or other trusted adult if they need support. Staff should contact the Employee Assistance Program. Below are some resources that may be helpful during this time:

Let us continue working together to protect our children and community. Please remain vigilant and report any concerning behavior or other incidents you see or hear to your school administrator or supervisor.

Thank you for your partnership.

Dr. Francisco Durán
Superintendent
Arlington Public Schools

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