CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — As new details surrounding Tuesday’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, continue to be revealed, states like Virginia are taking a closer look at their own gun control and school safety protocols.
The government of Chesterfield County and Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) have released a joint statement to remind parents, students and teachers about the methods and resources the county has in place to help prevent school shootings and provide a safe learning environment for kids.
“We would like to express our profound sadness regarding the horrific shooting that occurred at an Uvalde, Texas elementary school on Tuesday. So many lives were lost, and the lives of their families were irrevocably altered. Just 12 days ago we were reeling from another senseless shooting that occurred in Buffalo, New York and here we are, again, struggling to make sense of it all,” the statement read. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and communities directly impacted by both tragedies.”
Four years ago, a joint school safety task force was created to improve security and limit access to school buildings among individuals deemed a threat to students and teachers, according to the county’s statement.
“All Chesterfield schools have a threat assessment team trained through evidence-based practices to evaluate potential disturbances and respond appropriately,” the release read.
Additionally, every Chesterfield public school has a team of resource officers who are trained to respond to emergencies within school environments, such as an active shooter situation.
In the statement, Chesterfield Public Schools also reassured parents that it offers several programs to address student behavior and mental health issues, including anti-bullying initiatives, positive behavioral interventions, counseling, conflict resolution and team-building.
The county’s Department of Mental Health Support Services is currently working with school staff to support students and families in the wake of the recent events. Anyone who wishes to receive help is encouraged to call the crisis line at 804-748-6356, or 804-768-7318 for same-day access. Resources are also available through the county’s website.