The far-left Alexandria, Virginia City Council has voted to return police officers to the city’s schools following multiple violent on-campus crimes and the pleas of the district’s superintendent, students, and staff. The council had initially voted to boot police from city schools in May of this year, following the lead of several other left-wing councils in striking funding for school resource officers from the city budget.
School Resource Officers will return to the district’s middle and high schools almost immediately and remain in place for at least the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year. The city council reversed course on their May decision by a one-vote, 4-3 margin after a reportedly contentious debate in which, despite officers being dispatched to city schools multiple times so far this academic year, opponents of school resource officers still insisted that restoring the program wouldn’t make a difference.
Along with several large scale brawls and gang related fights at the Alexandria City High School, which was known as T.C. Williams High School until earlier this year, students have been involved in multiple firearm incidents.
In one instance, both of the high school’s two campuses were locked down with police being dispatched to the scene and later arresting a student in possession of a loaded handgun. In another, a student was shot immediately down the street from the school in what is said to be a gang-related shooting.
Police have also responded to several after-school fights at locations immediately off-campus, with video footage of a number of the fights both in and out of school being posted to the internet by students, showing how truly out of control the school’s environment has become, with some students describing it as a “free for all.”
“Our students are sending us warning shots. Literal warning shots!” the troubled school’s principal, Peter Balas told the city council as parents and district representatives pleaded for the return of police officers to schools during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
The meeting leading up to the vote lasted around 6 hours with Alexandria’s Democrat Mayor, Justin Wilson, reportedly losing his patience at times, banging his gavel and calling the situation a “disaster” while lamenting the city’s most radical council members for obstructing the return of school resource officers before eventually holding the affirmative vote at 1 A.M.
Despite Alexandria’s immediate location outside of Washington, D.C. and the city’s extreme wealth, Alexandria City High School, which is Virginia’s largest, has long dealt with crime, poverty, and other issues among its minority-majority student population, with the school at one point being listed among the worst in the country. Many of the area’s wealthy residents choose to send their children to private schools, or even to drive them to school in nearby Fairfax or Arlington Counties.