RESTON, Va. (DC News Now) — On Monday night, parents of Fairfax County students shared their concerns over school safety directly to the district’s superintendent.
Their worries ranged from how threats are communicated to whether entrances are actually secure.
One parent described what’s happening at the front door as, people “just buzzing people in without even asking why they’re there, who they are, or who their kids are.”
In response, Superintendent Michelle Reid said those are things that a systemwide independent third-party security review, happening this spring, will review. In addition, she said more training and oversight are helpful.
Reid also shared that a weapons-screening system — which is already in place in Manassas City Schools and already approved in Prince William County and Alexandria City Schools — is being considered.
“We really want to make sure, before we make that investment, that we’re investing in the software that’s going to make the biggest impact for us,” Reid said.
Another common concern from parents was safety within classroom trailers, which were implemented across many county schools to address overcrowding.
“Trailers are a problem,” said Michael Carr, a Pine Spring Elementary parent. “Sometimes I see [the doors] open on nice days.”
FCPS officials said the doors in those trailers automatically lock and should always be closed. Additionally, they highlighted that students undergo the same training in those classrooms as they would in the main school buildings.
“I think that there’s probably a little bit of a wider area that needs to be covered than just the actual physical school,” said Maia Lucier, an FCPS parent.
At the conversation, FCPS added that middle school camera installations will be completed by the end of the 2022-23 school year. The district is also piloting a vape detection device in its restrooms.