Report recommends Fairfax Co. schools security improvements

WASHINGTON — After the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Fairfax County Public School launched an internal security review and looked for ways to improve.

Now, the results are in.

A report from the school district’s Office of Safety and Security recommends replacing outdated locks on classroom doors and requiring that those doors always be locked.

It also calls for hiring eight new staffers so that security training and drills can be more thorough and frequent.

Another suggestion is the hiring of 18 additional school-based mental health employees, which would allow every middle school and some elementary schools to have at least one staffer. All of the school district’s high schools already have mental health staff.

The report also recommended adding video cameras inside middle and elementary school buildings to match what have already been installed in high schools.

But the school board wants to study that idea further before considering it.

The pros and cons of adding metal detectors was reviewed, but the report ultimately did not recommend them.

The proposed changes, which would cost more than $24 million, will be presented to the school board at its July 12 meeting.

The board will also hold a public hearing on the plan that on the same day, and if necessary, another hearing will be held July 17.

If you’d like to sign up to speak, you can do so starting June 25.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the recommendations on July 26.

Read the full report. 

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

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