Lewis Ferebee, Chancellor DC Public Schools is working with local law enforcement to protect local schools in the wake of Uvalde Texas mass school shooting. (photo credit DC Public Schools)

By Deborah Bailey,
AFRO D.C. Editor

D.C. Public Schools officials are accessing options to keep children safe In the aftermath of yet another mass shooting. On May 24, an 18-year-old shot 19 children and two adults dead at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. 

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Lewis said schools will use the manpower at their disposal to keep children in District Schools safe while assessing options. 

In a statement on Twitter, Ferabee lamented the impact the shootings will have on students and personnel within the D.C. Public Schools system.

“Too often, our city and country must grapple with how to respond to heartbreaking incidents of gun violence,” he said. 

“There are no words that can paper over the work that must be done to ensure students and staff are safe,” Ferabee added 

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s 2023 budget proposal calls for restoring funding to keep police in schools. Last year the D.C. City Council voted to phase-out police officers from public schools a year after the death of George Floyd. 

A Police Reform Commission appointed by the D.C. Council in 2021 found that armed officers in schools created an environment of fear rather than safety. A letter signed by 40 community groups accompanied the Police Reform Commission findings pointing to the disproportionate risk for Black children when school police are present. 

“Black students are more likely to be arrested at school for normal adolescent behavior than their white counterparts,” stated the letter. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III and D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee continue to advocate for police presence in schools citing the increasing number of violent incidents both in schools and communities.

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