Letter: Jill Weiss, Leesburg

Editor: On April 23, I attended the LCPS School Board meeting and spoke about current security concerns at Tuscarora High School. The following is what I said to members of the School Board:

1999 Columbine.

Followed by Littleton, Grundy, Pittsburgh, Blacksburg, Oakland, Newtown, Tallahassee, Dorchester, San Francisco, Parkland and 300 other schools.

March 2019, a man easily entered Tuscarora High School with a loaded weapon. Prior to his arrest, he posted a photo on Instagram in which he was holding a magazine, loaded with hollow point bullets. On the picture were the words “Hollow Tips Hurt.”

Two weeks later, in a separate incident, a new social media post appeared, which contained racially charged language and the words “Kill at Tusky.”

Despite the recent arrest and social media threats, security at Tuscarora remains weak and inconsistent.  Just before spring break, I was still easily able to enter the building without being asked for ID or a reason for being there.

What will it take, for the safety of our children, to be taken seriously?

Some of the 310 school shootings and deaths since Columbine could have been prevented if people had taken social media threats seriously and if schools had improved security following the threats.

310 school shootings and what has LCPS learned? I’m still trying to figure that out.  Based on experiences at THS, it appears LCPS has learned nothing. Or, perhaps, LCPS administrators naively believe it could never happen here.

Parents have requested enhanced security and improved communication for more than four weeks. We elected you to represent us and we deserve responses to our requests.

There is a security guard in this building’s foyer every single day and on nights like tonight. After everything that’s recently happened at Tuscarora, I do not understand why our children deserve less protection than you provide to yourselves?

As a parent recently wrote in a letter published in local papers, “We do not want Loudoun County to become another statistic.” My question to you is:  What steps are you taking to make sure that doesn’t happen?

Jill Weiss, Leesburg

One thought on “Letter: Jill Weiss, Leesburg

  • 2019-04-25 at 5:50 pm
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    Jill, I am so disappointed not one school board member nor the principal of Tuscarora replied to your heartfelt concern. When I was on the school board and raised the issue of expanding the panic button capability from just elementary schools to all Loudoun schools another board member tried to stop me from even making the motion saying I was opening LCPS to becoming a target by talking about techniques of protection. Given how large ALL of these schools are we need wireless communications capability at all entry points not just in the office. I hate to scare you but back before I initiated the health wellness and safety committee of the school board the lead SRO at the district high school did not even attend shooter in the4 building exercises from inside the building to see what the teachers and students actually do during a drill. All of our schools are soft targets even if we had an SRO in the lobby at all times. I have already contacted Mike Chapman suggesting ALL DEPUTIES who are in vehicles during the day be mandated to travel around the county by deliberately routing themselves near EVERY SCHOOL IN LOUDOUN. In this way and only in this way can we assure ourselves that when that emergency call is made from anyone in or near a school the response time is incredible rather than traffic or lethargy delayed. Should I be elected to Chair the BOS this common sense artificial intelligence type routing algorithm will be installed as well as wireless access to emergency calling. There is no excuse for not safeguarding our children in responsible ways when LCPS is choosing to spend almost $200,000 for one individual to survey teachers for cultural competency!

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