WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

School Districts Increase Police Presence After Newtown Shooting

Play associated audio
A police officer stands watch outside Bailey's Elementary School in Fairfax County.
Armando Trull
A police officer stands watch outside Bailey's Elementary School in Fairfax County.

Schools in the Washington area are dispatching counselors and some extra police patrols as students return to class following the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Fairfax County police has increased patrols and visibility this week around all schools in the Fairfax County school district. Superintendent Jack Dale says the move is not a response to any threat, but rather a police initiative to enhance safety and alleviate anxiety. Fairfax County is the largest school system in the Washington area with 181,000 students. 

Outside Bailey's Elementary School in Bailey's Crossroads this morning, police spokesperson Eddie Azcarate said that even though there is no known threat, the simple presence of the officers may comfort people.

 

"We are covering publica and private schools, focusing on elementary schools, and just being present, in uniform, visible," Azcarate said. "We want the community to know that we are here and we want everyone to be safe."

Just the presence of officers can be a deterrent to crime, he added.

 

Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent Joshua Starr says they have counselors available today to support the county's 149,000 students. In addition, school principals are taking time to make sure children are dealing with the tragedy as best as they can.

"The entire society grieves and is traumatized by such an event," says psychiatric counselor Kathy Richardson. "How could our society not protect our children?"

Prince George's County schools held a moment of silence at this morning and there will be increased security at the schools all week. Authorities in the District and Loudoun County are also increasing patrols around elementary schools.

"It's important to get your child back to school, it's important not to let them stay home, and to do what you can do to get them there back in the classroom and to demonstrate to them that school is a safe place," Richardson says.

Richardson also advises that parents make teachers aware of a child s anxiety so that student can receive extra support.

NPR

He Died At 32, But A Young Artist Lives On In LA's Underground Museum

When Noah Davis founded the museum, he wanted to bring world-class art to a neighborhood he likened to a food desert, meaning no grocery stores or museums. Davis died a year ago Monday.
NPR

The Strange, Twisted Story Behind Seattle's Blackberries

Those tangled brambles are everywhere in the city, the legacy of an eccentric named Luther Burbank whose breeding experiments with crops can still be found on many American dinner plates.
WAMU 88.5

State Taxes, School Budgets And The Quality Of Public Education

Budget cutbacks have made it impossible for many states to finance their public schools. But some have bucked the trend by increasing taxes and earmarking those funds for education. Taxes, spending and the quality of public education.

NPR

Surfers And Scientists Team Up To Create The 'Perfect Wave'

Surfers once deemed man-made waves weak and mushy compared to the best that break along the coast. Then engineers and an 11-time world champion surfer showed just how good an artificial wave can be.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.