John R. Lewis High School Hosts U.S. Vice President for School Safety Event
The John R. Lewis High School community, Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michelle C. Reid, Ed.D., and the Lewis High School band welcomed U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris to their school Friday to advocate for safer schools.
Superintendent Reid said she looked at the faces and heard the voices of young people in the room knowing they can make a difference in advocating for the safety of students across the U.S.
“Any threat to student safety in one school affects schools and communities across the United States,” Reid said. She thanked FCPS School Board chair Rachna Sizemore Heizer, vice chair Tamara Derenak Kaufax, and members Dr. Ricardy Anderson, Karl Frisch, Karen Keys-Gamarra, Stella Pekarsky, Elaine Tholen and Michele Togbe for their attendance at the event, and years of service to Lewis HS and the school division . “We know there is still much that must be done to ensure safe schools. Our future depends on it.”
Lewis High School senior Jada Hughes, who introduced Vice President Harris to a gymnasium full of more than 1,000 students and community participants, has attended three high schools in three different school districts, here in Virginia and in Washington state. She said one thing has been constant during her high school years: kids are worried about school safety.
“With 10 days until my graduation, I want to see this through a positive lens, however,” Jada said. “Let’s take it upon ourselves to inspire action.”
Vice President Harris said she was at Lewis High School with student leaders like Jada to speak to “the deep and profound sense of responsibility to allow you to dream and to be safe.”
She ended the event by reminding students that the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis, for whom the school is named, was 23 years old when he spoke during a March on Washington and 76 years old when he led a sit-in at the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The great John Lewis taught us it is never too early or too late to join this fight,” Harris said. “We are all in this together.”
Watch Vice President Harris interact with the Lewis High School band.