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Fairfax Cty, VA: Increased school safety and security to cost "about $24M"

July 12, 2018, Hagerstown, MD, DVM: Public weighs in on $24 million school security recommendations in Fairfax County Fairfax County, Va. - Officials in Fairfax County are being proactive about keeping kids safe, making sure they are protected while on school grounds. Following the Parkland, Fla. school shooting, Fairfax County Public Schools conducted an internal review of its security programs and policies. With the results of that review, school staff released a list of long-term improvements that focus on the following: Training—Hire additional staff members to improve training in all schools, such as enhanced lockdown drills and visitor management procedures, and increase the frequency of school-based security exercises. In addition, table top exercises would be conducted annually. Mental Health—Hire 18 additional school-based mental health support staff members such as psychologists or social workers. All high schools currently have full-time psychologists and social workers. Additional staff would enable all middle schools and targeted elementary schools to have full-time mental health support. Some things were not suggested in board recommendations, but were on the minds of parents. "The chance of a child with a disability being referred to discipline for disruptive behavior for FCPS schools is the highest of any group," said Rachel Heizer. … The school district said the changed would cost about $24 million. On July 26, board members will vote on whether or not they will use end of the year funding to implement those changes.

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