The City of Alexandria recently released a safety report that revealed a worrying increase in violent incidents in public schools. A survey of nearly 7,000 students, parents, and teachers showed that fewer people felt safe in school this year compared to the year before. Last year, 75% of respondents agreed or fully agreed with the statement that they felt safe in school, while this year only 57% responded the same way. In response to this alarming trend, the City of Alexandria is now seeking public comment on walking and biking conditions on all five school campuses.
With over 150,000 people living in a compact city (about 15 square miles), Alexandria provides an ideal environment for walking and biking, as many families live near their neighborhood elementary schools. The City has implemented several programs and projects to encourage more people to walk and bike to school. This includes the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, which promotes walking and biking to school through infrastructure improvements, law enforcement, safety education, and incentives. Additionally, all exterior doors to all ACPS schools are supposed to be locked from arrival to departure. To further increase the safety of students walking or biking to school, the City is conducting Safe Routes to School audits. These audits assess walking and biking conditions around public schools in the city of Alexandria.
The office also oversees non-police school safety officers (SSO) who work in high schools. Recently, there has been back-and-forth letters between Alexandria city and school leaders and Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares, who criticized the district for considering eliminating SROs. However, the City is still committed to providing a safe environment for students by encouraging more people to walk and bike to school. The City of Alexandria is taking proactive steps to ensure that students feel safe in their schools. The SRTS program provides infrastructure improvements that make it easier for students to walk or bike to school safely. Additionally, all exterior doors are locked from arrival to departure and non-police school safety officers are present in high schools.
Finally, Safe Routes to School audits assess walking and biking conditions around public schools in the city of Alexandria. These measures are essential for creating a safe learning environment for students. By encouraging more people to walk or bike to school, the City is helping create a safer environment for everyone. It is important that parents and teachers continue to work together with city officials to ensure that all students feel safe in their schools.