Mental health services provided after Heritage High School shooting

Posted at 7:57 PM, Sep 20, 2021

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - After a traumatic day at Heritage High School, students and staff will be able to access mental health services.

Mental health professionals who work with the Newport News Public Schools district responded to the scene earlier Monday to support students and staff at Heritage High after a shooting that injured two teens.

The superintendent of the school district says there’s a crisis response team in place that responds to situations like this that involve unfortunate circumstances.

Heritage has created a support hotline for students, parents, and staff.

"Today as we were walking on the tennis court, I saw several of our staff members, psychologists, social workers reporting on the scene to speak with staff, students while they were waiting for transportation. We’ll continue to support our staff who were distraught by this matter. This was a very traumatic incident. We’ll continue to support our staff and students as they return to school. When we get back to in-person, we will have those folks on site. We’ll also reach out electronically to anyone who needs mental health assistance during this traumatic situation," said George Parker, superintendent of Newport News Public Schools.

Students will temporarily switch to virtual learning, but Heritage High School and Huntington Middle School are closed on Tuesday. When students and staff are able to reenter the building to get their personal belongings and technology, the school division will begin the process of scheduling a time for students and staff to retrieve these items. Once students and staff have their belongings, Heritage and Huntington will temporarily move to virtual instruction, school officials said.

Superintendent Parker says the school will work to make sure students can eventually return safely.