PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — School districts around Hampton Roads are reassuring parents about the safety protocols in place at their own schools following the mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas.
On Tuesday, an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
In the shooting’s aftermath, local school districts have released statements and safety policies already in place to help prevent violence in their own schools.
Superintendents from several districts conveyed their sorrow over the shooting.
“Let me first share that my deepest sympathies go out to the victims and families from yesterday’s devastating school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. As a father and an educator, it has been heartbreaking to watch the news and learn of yet another senseless act of violence that has taken place inside a school,” said Portsmouth superintendent Dr. Elie Bracy in his statement to the district.
Virginia Beach Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence said in a tweet: “I don’t know what to say. I have no words. I am heartbroken. I’m angry. I’ve been in tears. 19 young people. 2 heroic adults. All taken from this world. At school. AT SCHOOL! Hug your children. Every day with them is a precious gift. This senseless gun violence has to stop.”
Portsmouth, York County, Norfolk, Hampton, and Isle of Wight all say that counselors are available for students who are processing and feeling overwhelming feelings due to the shooting.
The district reiterated safety plans such as ID checks, locked school doors, lockdown drills, and more that are already in place to prevent violence from happening at the school.
Norfolk Public Schools says every high school has a school resource officer and they work with the police department to investigate all threats.
Hampton Public Schools listed a number of measures such as panic buttons, hand-held metal detectors, as well as school resource officers in all of their middle and high schools.
Isle of Wight and Portsmouth say police presence will be increased to add an additional layer of security.
To read their full statements, click at the links below.
- Isle of Wight County Schools
- Hampton City Schools
- Portsmouth Public Schools
- York County
- Norfolk Public Schools