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ACPS to address school safety in public forum tonight

Alexandria City Public Schools leaders will be on-hand tonight (October 26) to discuss school safety.

The conversation starts at 6:30 p.m. at George Washington Middle School (1005 Mount Vernon Avenue), and speakers on the panel include interim Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt, ACPS Director of Safety and Security Services John Contreras, and Director of School Social Work Faiza Jackson.

The event is hosted by ACPS, the Alexandria Council of PTAs, and Parents for Safe Alexandria Schools, and will be held in the school auditorium. Event organizers caution that the subject matter is “child-sensitive.”

The other panelists are Alexandria Police Officer Richard Sandoval, Alexandria City Gang Prevention Community Task Force Member Mike Mackey, Everytown for Gun Safety’s Be SMART Secure Gun Storage Program Member Andy Corso, and Alex Carrol of the city’s Department of Transportation & Environmental Services.

School safety has been a major issue within ACPS since full in-person schooling resumed at the beginning of the last school year. There were 46 students arrested and 68 injured in the 2021-2022 school year, with 194 incidents that provoked a police response, according to an ACPS safety report.

The school system’s partnership with the Alexandria Police Department also came under intense scrutiny, and a new plan on school resource officers (stationed at Alexandria City High School and the middle schools) will be unveiled to the School Board by mid-December.

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