ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — On Tuesday, the Roanoke City School Board held a meeting where the main topic of conversation was school safety.

Roanoke City Public Schools Superintendent Verletta White broke down the research that has been collected through various avenues, including focus groups, school safety summits, and more.

(Photo courtesy: Roanoke City Public Schools)

According to White, the key components to school safety are preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery:

  • Preparation: Training and professional learning opportunities
  • Mitigation: “See something, say something” policy, as well as response strategies
  • Response: Threat assessment processes and reunification procedures
  • Recovery: Counseling and community-based services

White says that the goal is staying safe by staying connected.

“We are better able to stay safe if we stay connected to each other and support one another,” said White.

A Roanoke mother whose son died of gun violence took to the podium on Tuesday, June 14, saying the school system needs to do more and suggesting some new ideas.

“I believe that if our children use clear bookbags, it would make it easier for someone to spot a potential threat or weapon being carried. I also strongly believe in parent involvement, so as you work on finding solutions, consider having a committee of focused parents on a team to help with the changes being made,” the mother said.

According to the superintendent, the district says there will be “potential” additions like a new safety tip system, a phone notification app, additional cameras, student entry procedures, and more.

This will all be unpacked and presented at Friday’s school board retreat.