Southwest, Central Virginia educators discuss how to keep schools safe after another shooting

Local school administrators are looking at plans to make sure teachers and faculty are safe

10 News reporter Duke Carter speaks with local school officials on how to keep students safe

PULASKI, Va. – Teachers are voicing their opinions after another school shooting.

Local school administrators are looking at plans to make sure teachers and faculty are safe.

A second-grade teacher, Lezlie Wilson, who trains for active school shootings, hopes one doesn’t happen in this area.

“It just seems senseless,” Wilson said.

Like many, she is shocked to learn of another school shooting.

“There aren’t words to express it, doesn’t seem to be any way to explain it,” Wilson said.

Wilson has been teaching for 22 years, she gets active shooting training.

“All of our doors are locked as anyone who comes to our school would experience, we screen you at the door you have to provide identification, we do practice drills as well.”

Dr. Kevin Siers, superintendent of Pulaski County Public Schools, said the schools work with the county and law enforcement to make that every school in the county has a school resource officer.

Siers also said that teachers and principals go through mock training to prepare ahead for active shooters and each school has a plan in place.

“Our administrators do a good job evaluating and training their teachers on what our response will be under different circumstances, I feel we’re as prepared as we can be.”

Siers says some of the newer schools have employee badge-ins to make sure people can not enter the facilities.

“I think we do as much as anybody and more than most to try and stay on top of it,” Siers said.

Other school districts are prepared as well. Martinsville has a 10 gauge steel window that protects students in emergencies.

Other districts provided statements. Here’s what they had to say:

Radford City Schools:

“Radford City Public Schools (RCPS) and the Radford community place a priority on school safety. I feel like our students, teachers and administrators are well prepared for crisis situations as we train each year for many different scenarios. I am also grateful for the relationship that we have with RCPD, the Radford Sherriff’s Department, Fire Department, City and local regional law enforcement organizations.”

Superintendent Robert Graham said:

Botetourt County Public School:

“We have developed, and regularly review and update, division and school crisis plans and use resources available from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services to assist in developing these plans. We prepare our staff by reviewing crisis plans, procedures, and safety protocols and regularly conduct required drills to practice our response. We continue our efforts to upgrade and equip our facilities to address the unique safety challenges that schools across the nation must now be prepared to face.”

Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Russ

Alleghany County Public Schools:

At Alleghany County Public Schools, we strive to make our schools a place where students feel safe and secure. Resource officers are assigned to each school throughout the school year. The Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office provides our school resource officers, and we are very grateful. We also benefit from the support of other local law enforcement partners as needed.

Our students have access to school counselors and a mental health counselor, among other staff, as needed for these situations as well as any other situations that may arise.”

Campbell County Public Schools:

“The events in Texas were very tragic. One thing in Campbell that we have is a School Resource Officer (SRO) in every building. That coupled with other safety measures are used to keep students and staff safe.”

Lynchburg City Schools

“My heart goes out to the victims, their families, and all of those who will be forever changed by this horrific event. The pain caused by this is unfathomable and it’s hard to hold back the tears when you think of what that community is going through. As a Lynchburg City Schools (LCS) community, let’s lift them up by sending them the courage, strength, and love needed during a time such as this.”

Dr. Crystal M. Edwards, LCS Superintendent

About the Author:

Duke Carter returned to 10 News in January 2022.