NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – There is a security officer at each school in the Newport News school division, as of today, NNPS Chief of Staff Rashard Wright confirmed to 10 On Your Side.
The effort stems from the shooting at Richneck Elementary school where a six-year-old student shot his first-grade teacher.
During a recent school board work session meeting, the division said by March 1, Pre-K to elementary schools would have one security officer in schools. Wright said by March 14, the goal is to add two security guards to those schools.
The division said it planned to hire 30 security officers. School officials recently hosted a job fair specifically for school security officers.
“The district plans to hire retired police officers, retired members of the military and those with a background in security,” said a division spokesperson.
But for some families, the added security isn’t easing fears.
Tiffany Green is a mother of a Richneck student who is now teaching her second grader at home. She said her daughter was experiencing anxiety once she returned to Richneck following the shooting.
“She’s like, ‘I’m anxious because I don’t know what’s going to happen.’ She shouldn’t have to feel that way. She’s eight. It’s my responsibility as a mom to protect her,” Green said.
She added that unarmed security officers in schools do not make her feel better.
“I would feel safer if they brought an actual police officer,” Green said. “Why don’t they add an actual police officer who is trained in situations like this? That’s just how I feel.”
NNPS has three Pre-K schools and 24 elementary schools where classes are held. That means 27 security officers were needed by March 1, and 54 security officers are needed by March 14.
The school division added that further security plans will be rolled out, such as putting out a weapon detection system in schools and creating committees to help ensure safety in them.
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