Parents weigh in on school safety after Uvalde shooting
FAIRFAX, VA – Concerned parents shared with Fox News Digital how to best keep kids safe in schools following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
Parents arrived at Luther Jackson Middle School in Fairfax, Virginia, last Thursday to protest a vote on potential changes to Family Life Education classes. Despite the controversial vote being pushed to June, fired up parents still showed up with megaphones and signs displaying their displeasure.
In addition to sounding off on the progressive agenda, parents shared their thoughts on school safety in light of the Texas tragedy. The school board passed a motion to direct the superintendent to come up with a plan to ask for a 3rd party holistic review of FCPS’s security protocols and procedures at Thursday’s meeting, according to those in attendance.
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Mementos decorate a makeshift memorial for the shooting victims outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 28, 2022.
(Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)
“I absolutely think that we have to have more security at school,” Elizabeth McCauley of the Virginia Mavens told Fox News Digital ahead of the meeting.
“We have banks, we have large corporations, our very own members of Congress have armed guards, we have police officers on guard protecting them,” she continued. “Why not our children?”
McCauley said school safety starts with one secure entrance at the school, and with a police officer present at all times who is armed and ready. She concluded by making mention of mental health awareness.
Thomas Ferguson, another Fairfax parent, agreed that some answers came at the entrances. While he took issue with how Fairfax schools were handling curricula, he credited administrators on school safety.
“First you have to make sure those doors are locked and that people have authorized access whenever that school is in session. Period,” he told Fox News Digital.
A Fairfax County school bus sits in a depot, a day after it was announced the county would begin the school year all online, in Lorton, Virginia, July 22, 2020.
Secondly, he said, school resource officers “are a big deal.”
“Having that armed presence that knows the building, knows the population, knows the lay of the land, is invaluable,” Ferguson said.
Parent Stacy Langton said the presence of school resource officers in Fairfax schools puts her at ease.
“I’m very thankful I have an SRO at my school, here in Fairfax County, we have SROs,” Langton said. “And they’re armed. And they’re Fairfax County police officers, so I have two kids in the public school system, and it’s good that we have SROs.”
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Ferguson offered a third way to help keep students safe. Namely, that everyone should be on the lookout for warning signs.
“As teachers, as parents, as administrators, as neighbors,” he said. “Of when someone looks like they’re starting to trail off and go off in a bad direction. And if we’re being honest, people do notice these things. They don’t always say anything. But I think people notice. We need to get back to being concerned citizenry who look out for one another and speak up for one another.”
Other Fairfax residents like Janice said society had to reverse course and suggested the Bible needed to make a comeback.
“Bring back Bible reading and teaching each other the most important commandment, which is treat others the way you want to be treated, respect for each other,” Janice told Fox News Digital. “And you don’t have to get real preachy to bring God back in the schools. Just to know that we are all made in the image of God and when we go by His rules, everyone is happy.”
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Mourners visit a memorial for a victim’s of Tuesday’s mass shooting at an elementary school, in City of Uvalde Town Square on May 26, 2022, in Texas.
(Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Moms Demand Action volunteer Heather Foglio shared a different approach, saying school safety starts with gun control legislation.
“We need to pass commonsense gun laws in this country,” Foglio told Fox News Digital. “And specifically we need our senators to act. We have some bills sitting for two years in the Senate that may not have prevented this one thing, but could definitely save lots of lives. Gun violence needs a comprehensive approach.”
Foglio urged the passing of universal background checks on every single gun sale, having a federal red flag law, and closing the Charleston loophole, which allows gun purchases to move forward by default after three business days.
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Uvalde residents and Americans at large have been shocked and angry as more details come to light about how much time had passed before police were able to subdue school shooter Salvador Ramos.