VIRGINIA BEACH— Elementary schools added additional security Monday following the Connecticut school massacre.
School officials say the move is only a precaution. Spokesperson Lauren Wicks says sheriff deputies were at the schools, but police also made additional visits. Parents were informed Sunday via an AlertNow message.
Here’s a copy of the message:
"This is an important message from Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Please be advised that beginning Monday you will see an increased presence of uniformed public safety personnel at our elementary schools. This is not the result of any threat against our schools. It is a precautionary measure only, prompted by the recent school tragedy in Connecticut. If your children ask questions about the presence of a police officer or sheriff’s deputy at your school, please reassure them that people care about their safety. Please know that our school principals consider student and staff safety their highest priority. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s principal. As always, we thank you for your support."
13NEWS has contacted all other local school districts to see if they also increased security. Norfolk Public Schools superintendent wrote a letter to parents. You can read it here.
"You just send them out with a prayer. You can only ask God to watch over them when they are away from you, because you can't be with them 24 hours a day," said Portsmouth parent Vera Potts-Anderson.
Newport News Public Schools increased security. Each elementary school had a security guard. Previously, only some had guards. Police will also visit schools more often, and school principals will review their crisis management plans.
Newport News Public Schools will continue to monitor and address safety protocols.
Suffolk Public Schools have also asked police to increase their presence both inside and outside of school buildings. They've also asked their principals to make sure they are complying with current security procedures and discuss their school's crisis plan with faculty and staff.