Northern Virginia students walk out of school to demand gun control legislation
At McLean High, student protesters gathered near the front of the school for about 10 minutes as Brunner and two of his co-organizers gave speeches advocating for new gun laws and better gun resources. mental health in schools. The teenagers chanted, “Am I next?”
Teenager accused of bringing ‘ghost gun’ parts to Prince George school
Brunner said adults consistently don’t listen to school-aged children, who have the most at stake when it comes to school shootings.
“A lot of times the older population looks down on the younger people and says, ‘What are you going to do about it? You can’t vote,” Brunner said. “But… in four years, we will be the people with the ballots. If you don’t have complete and secure gun laws, you will be ousted from power because it is not getting better.
The mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday left 21 people dead, including 19 children and two adults. It is the deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade.
On Wednesday and Thursday, schools in DC, Maryland and Virginia stepped up security, addressed threats and sent emails to parents intended to boost their confidence in the school’s security measures. Some districts also explained how they conduct active fire exercises throughout the year.
In Maryland, one of the high schools in Prince George’s County — Fairmont Heights High School in Capitol Heights, Md. — was quarantined for nearly two hours Thursday after a student told a school resource officer that he had seen a classmate with gun parts.
County police found parts of a “ghost gun” in a classroom, then located and arrested the student who allegedly brought the gun parts to campus.
Elsewhere in Maryland, Montgomery County system officials said community engagement officers will be “continuously checking” schools this week to ensure student safety.
In the Montgomery system, staff members are trained during the first and second semesters on a exercise “containment with options”, while students undergo this exercise in the second term or second semester. The drill teaches students and staff how to handle situations where they are stuck outside a locked classroom when a dangerous intruder enters campus.
In the nation’s capital, DC Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee said his system will “work closely” with DC police to keep the school safe. Less than 24 hours after the shooting in Texas, a man was shot dead outside Roosevelt High School in DC. The system posted a police officer outside the school’s main entrance when students entered Wednesday morning.
Every month in the district, every school – regardless of grade level – must conduct a fire drill and a second drill, possibly including a mass fire or severe weather drill. Principals have some flexibility in choosing second drills, but each campus must hold at least two mass shooting drills per academic year. Some DC schools plan to hold drills at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, some parents, teachers and students in the district are sounding the alarm about broken door locks at some schools. In a statement, system officials noted that “a school building’s physical security structures are regularly reviewed as part of our security assessments.”
In Virginia, Loudoun County Public Schools added “an increased presence” from the county sheriff’s office this week while bolstering their own security forces, according to district spokesman Wayde Byard.
Byard said the district “continually works” with law enforcement to hold active-fire drills and held one as recently as May 19 — one of four such drills the school system holds. for students of all grades each school year, notifying parents each time per state requirement.
Meanwhile, Fairfax County Public Schools is stepping up efforts to “communicate to all schools about ongoing efforts in safety and security programs and procedures, as well as communication to the community,” according to spokesperson Julie Moult.
Fairfax holds at least two active-fire drills a year, Moult said, one during the first 20 days of school and one after the first 60 days. All grades except kindergarten and preschool participate.
And at Alexandria City Public Schools, officials are working “closely” with police to ensure any threats are addressed immediately, acting facilities and operations chief Alicia Hart said. Students, staff and families in Alexandria are still reeling from the death of an 18-year-old student who was stabbed outside a shopping center on Tuesday.
Alexandria holds at least five active threat drills a year involving K-12 students, according to Hart.
In Fairfax, high school student Brunner said he and his friends were often afraid to go to school.
“There were times when I didn’t show up to school due to school shooting threats,” he said. “Every day you walk through the doors is a gamble.”