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JUST IN: Alexandria City High School teacher confiscates handgun from a student

Alexandria police at Alexandria City High School’s Minnie Howard Campus on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 (staff photo by James Cullum)

Alexandria City High School’s Minnie Howard Campus has been taken off of “secure the building” mode after a handgun was confiscated from a student.

ACHS Executive Principal Peter Balas notified parents of the incident in an email. A teacher reported the weapon to school administrators at around 9 a.m., and the building was placed in “secure the building” mode at 9:15 a.m.

The full message is below.

Dear Minnie Howard Families,

At about 9:00 a.m. today, Alexandria City High School-Minnie Howard Campus administrators received a report from a teacher that a student was in possession of a weapon, and they quickly responded to this report. The school was placed in “secure the building” mode at 9:15 a.m. when, upon investigation, the presence of an unloaded handgun was confirmed, and the weapon was immediately secured. The Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) safety and security team worked with the Alexandria Police Department (APD) on site to conduct an investigation with the student involved. The “secure the building” status was lifted at 10:29 a.m. once the on-site investigation was completed, and normal operations resumed.

“Secure the building” means that the school day continues on a normal schedule inside the school but no one is allowed to enter or leave the school while the building remains secured. An Alexandria City Public Schools video provides more information on what happens when a school is placed in “secure the building” mode. The class schedule and transitions may be adjusted as needed.

The safety and security of our students and staff are of utmost priority. We will continue to provide updates to families via our website and ParentSquare as more information becomes available.

Sincerely,

Peter Balas

Executive Principal

Alexandria City High School

King Street Campus

Minnie Howard Campus

Weapons in ACPS have been a serious issue, and the school system plans to roll out a metal detector program in May.

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