Gun Violence - Student Support Resources and FCPS Safety Practices
Resources to support students and details about FCPS safety practices
Gun violence and school shootings are complicated topics that affect each of us in different ways.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has developed resources to support students who have questions and concerns. FCPS also has one of the most advanced school security systems in the nation.
Resources and Supports
Resources and supports are available to assist with our individual needs and experiences, they include:
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Student Safety and Wellness
Safety and Security Practices
Because of the potential for both intended and unintended threats to our schools, FCPS has focused a great deal of attention to emergency procedures and is vigilant about protecting the safety of its students and employees.
The school division has spent considerable time and effort in planning and practicing day-to-day safety and security measures, as well as addressing the response to a major critical incident. Among these measures are:
- Physical Security (Locked doors, intrusion alarms, electronic door access, CCTV)
- Visitor Management System and Procedures (Deployed system-wide)
- Emergency planning coordination with police, fire, and emergency management offices
- Uniformed school security patrols (24x7)
- SROs at all middle and high schools
- FCPS security personnel at all middle and high schools
- Comprehensive division-wide crisis management plan
- Individual school crisis plans-updated annually
- Lockdown, Fire, and Tornado Drills
- Safety training and Table Top exercises at all schools
- Critical incident terms awareness and training (Lockdown, Secure the Building, Shelter in Place, Stay Put Stay Tuned)
- Employee training in crisis management and communication. (Lockdown, Evacuation, and “Run, Hide, Fight”)
- Mandatory annual safety training for all students and staff
- Threat assessment process
- Confidential tip, text, and email programs
- Systemwide emergency alert systems
Safety and security is everyone’s job. Staff, students, parents, and the community at large are reminded to incorporate safety and security awareness as routine, and to immediately report any unusual activity to the authorities. Know that we take the safety and security of all students very seriously.
Gun-Free Schools Affirmed by School Board Policy
At a June 2022 meeting, the Fairfax County School Board voted on a policy to affirm that all FCPS school zones are gun-free, and to deem as gun-free any non-school zone building or property that the School Board owns and leases where employees of the School Board are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
For many years, guns have been prohibited on actual school grounds. The Virginia General Assembly last year gave school boards the authority to extend this to non-instructional facilities. This policy is the result.
In accordance with the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1995, 18 U.S.C. § 922(q) and § 18.2-308.1 of the Code of Virginia, unauthorized individuals are prohibited from knowingly possessing a loaded or unsecured firearm at a place the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.
In 2020, The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors also passed an ordinance banning guns in government buildings, parks and special events.
“This policy reaffirms our commitment to ending gun violence,” says School Board Chair and Sully District Representative Stella Pekarsky. “Our students and staff have the right to be safe where they work and learn every day and we will do everything in our power to fight for that right.”
More details on the policy are available on Board Docs.