Arlington’s Wakefield High reopens with extra security presence

Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, reopened Monday with extra security, because of what the principal called “concerning social media posts circulating.”

In a message to the school community Sunday, Principal Chris Willmore said Arlington police will provide increased patrols around the school, including during arrival and dismissal times.

“I understand this continues to pose a significant strain on our well-being as a community,” Willmore said in the message.

The message did not provide any further detail about the online posts.

A school system spokesman said there will continue to be a police presence “as a precautionary measure” and that there will be “additional staff monitoring transitions and other unstructured time in hallways and other spaces outside classrooms.”

Local news site ARLNow was the first to report the extra police presence.

Classes resumed at Wakefield on Monday, days after a student’s apparent overdose. A trespasser also sent the school into lockdown Thursday, and the school system decided to cancel school Friday after the week’s events.

Dozens of parents and students marched around the school Friday, calling for increased security and additional drug awareness campaigns for students.

Additional counseling support has been made available to students Monday, Willmore said.

Also on Monday, a student at Wakefield was evaluated for what the school calls a possible underage drinking incident. Arlington police said the student was “in possession of alcohol” but not taken to the hospital.

The county’s school board is scheduled to have a work session Tuesday, during which members are expected to speak about opioid and substance-abuse education and prevention in the school system.

Scott Gelman

Scott Gelman is a digital editor and writer for WTOP. A South Florida native, Scott graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019. During his time in College Park, he worked for The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

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