Roanoke, Virginia – In just a few weeks, children at Roanoke City Schools will be returning to the classroom, and this year, the school will implement additional precautionary measures to keep them safe.
The Roanoke City School Board and the Roanoke City Council got together on Monday to discuss the upcoming implementation of the new safety measures that are planned to take place later this month.
Superintendent Verletta White said, “We believe that our comprehensive approach is the best way for us to get there.”
At their most recent meeting, the school board decided to accept 25 safety recommendations, some of which include a new safety tip line, new classroom door locks that are more secure, and an extra 15 school resource officers in addition to the 11 who are currently on staff.
A total of 26 school resource officers (SROs) will ensure that every school has an officer. It costs $1.5 million for each school to have a single resource officer on duty.
“We are moving forward with all these recommendations that provide us with a comprehensive approach to safety. We are talking about the physical safety of our students and staff as well as their social, emotional, and psychological safety,” Superintendent White said.
Elementary school students will have access to two more mental health specialists from Blue Ridge Behavioral Health to assist with any emotional or psychological concerns they may have.
Among other things, the school board agreed to advocate for more parental and guardian responsibility for children who carry weapons or make threats at school.