While a sniper remains at large in our area, Alexandria has taken precautions to protect its citizens, especially its children.
The shootings, which resulted in multiple deaths, began on Wednesday, Oct. 2, in Montgomery County, MD, and continued Thursday and Friday, in Montgomery County, the District of Columbia and Fredericksburg, VA.
On Monday, when a 13-year-old middle school student was shot entering a school in Prince Georges County, MD, Alexandria schools took precautions. All outside activities, including physical education classes, recess and off-campus lunch at T. C. Williams were cancelled. The Maryland middle school boy is expected to survive his wounds, as is the woman who was shot in Fredericksburg.
“We have decided to cancel all outside activities and all outside after school activities for the rest of the week,” said Barbara Hunter, the executive director for information and outreach for the school system. “Sports practices that are already indoors or that can be moved indoors will continue and games that are played indoors will proceed as scheduled. We will make a decision about Saturday’s football game and band day at T. C. Williams some time on Friday.”
FEEDING 2,000 students lunch at T. C. Williams is perhaps the biggest change. “On a normal day, we probably feed about a third of our students,” said John Porter, principal at T. C. Williams. “It takes us about two hours and 45 minutes to feed all of them but we are getting it done and our cafeteria staff is doing a magnificent job.”
Students are sent to the cafeteria, 10 classrooms at a time. They get their food and bring it back to their third or fourth period class and eat it there.
There is also a heightened police presence at the schools. “We have officers at all of our schools to make sure that everything goes well,” said Amy Bertsch, a spokesperson for the Alexandria Police Department.”
All outside recreation activities have also been cancelled through the end of the week. This includes baseball games and other activities that might take place outside the city’s recreation centers. “We will reevaluate at the end of the week with the police,” said Barbara Gordon, the city’s public information officer.