Alexandria City Public Schools have released their latest round of safety data, which covers the third and fourth quarters of last school year.
That data, which will be presented to the school board on Thursday, shows that there were 194 reported incidents, up slightly from 191 in the first and second quarters. That averages out to nearly two incidents per day.
Arrests were up slightly too: During the period that comprises January through June, there were 26 arrests, compared with 20 in the first half of the school year. Those 26 arrests include 16 for fights or assaults, four for a controlled substance offense, three for a weapons offense and three for an alcohol offense.
Fourteen of those arrests involved high school students. The other 12 involved middle schoolers.
Safety around the school system has been top of mind among school leaders since the city council voted to eliminate funding for the system’s school resource officer program. Months later, the council voted to reinstate it following violent incidents during the first few months of the school year.
The school system has been under additional scrutiny after the stabbing death of an Alexandria High School student during a fight that involved dozens of kids outside a nearby shopping center.
When comparing the two halves of the 2021-2022 school year, the data shows that the number of reported incidents declined at the system’s middle and elementary schools — from 120 in the first semester to 100 in the second. But they increased at the system’s high schools — from 59 in the first semester to 82 in the second.
The school system pointed out in its report that last month, it implemented several steps to improve student safety. These include staggered dismissals; additional school security officers; specified student and staff entrances; and upgrades to things like PA systems and classroom phones.
Other potential steps to improve safety include roll-down gates and door alarms.