Lindley Estes writes about Spotsylvania County schools, King George County Schools and other issues of interest to the community.
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Spotsy and Stafford Sheriff’s Offices will have deputies at every school Monday
UPDATE: The Spotsylvania County school division has posted a note to parents about safety precautions the division is taking. It also posted a link to resources for helping children cope in the wake of Friday’s school shooting in Connecticut.
Below is the message and two links.
Safety Measures and Resources for Parents -
We are deeply saddened by the tragedy and our thoughts go out to the community of Newtown, CT. We want to reassure you that we have a safety measures in place and work closely with the Sheriff’s Office to help safeguard our schools. Our top priority is school safety. A key element of that partnership involves the assignment of a School Resource Officer (SRO) to support all of our schools. Each officer receives special training as part of this assignment.
In addition to SROs, all schools have a written safety plan and conduct various training and drills related to those plans. The Sheriff’s Office assists the Division with the training and drills. The Sheriff’s Office also has response plans specific to all schools in the County.
We know that children may raise questions and concerns about the tragedy. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by maintaining daily routines and talking with them about their fears. Click the link below for some tips from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) to help you talk with your child. Our school counselors are also available to talk with students.
If you have any questions, please contact your school principal.
Additional resources: www.nasponline.org.
UPDATE: Fredericksburg schools are having increased police presence today and throughout this week, Fredericksburg Police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said.
The Sheriff’s Offices in Spotsylvania and Stafford counties will post a deputy at every school tomorrow to increase safety and to ease concerns of parents, students and staff, their offices said.
Spotsylvania Sheriff Roger Harris said he will post deputies at each of the county’s 17 elementary schools as often as he can, but budget constraints make it difficult. Deputies are already assigned to middle and high schools daily but not at the elementary level.
Harris said he wishes he had funding to place them at elementary schools year-round.
“I will do it as much as I can,” he said. “To pull 17 deputies off the street and pay overtime, it’s costly but when you look at the alternative, it’s money well-spent. That’s the way I look at it.”
Stafford Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy said “it is important to note that the extra presence at the schools is precautionary only and the not the result of any threats or intended acts of violence made against the schools.”
Stafford Sheriff Charles Jett said in a prepared statement that “the safety and security of the staff and students at the schools has always been a top priority.”
“In light of the tragedy in Connecticut on Friday, our enhanced presence at the schools, throughout the day, is intended to reassure students, faculty and parents of our commitment to ensuring a safe school day for all parties involved,” Jett said.