NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – One day after a shooting inside Heritage High School in Newport News, the Newport News School Board held a regularly scheduled meeting.
Though school security was not on the originally published agenda, safety concerns were on the minds of those attending as well as school board members.
As the meeting was called to order, representatives from Heritage High School and Huntington Middle School came forward for the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance.
The meeting was held at the Newport News Public School Administration Building on Warwick Boulevard. Toward the end of the meeting, board member Dr. Terri Best described arriving at the scene Monday and seeing a student having a panic attack. She also talked about the younger students.
“What really broke my heart was seeing the Huntington Middle School students as they were evacuated to the tennis courts,” described Dr. Best.
One parent spoke to the board, saying, “My concern about yesterday’s incident was the fact that parents didn’t get communication directly from the school. Most of the communication came from Facebook, Instagram, social media, other children, which leads to misinformation.”
Superintendent Dr. George Parker stated that communication with parents is one of the items in their plan to move forward. He also stated there will be an after-action meeting with law enforcement staff and security.
Students and one accompanying parent are being allowed to return to gather their belongings Wednesday from 8-11 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. and also Thursday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. They are asked to go to the main entrance of Heritage High School.
Wed 9/22, Canes may come to HHS to pick up their belongings, 8AM-11AM or 4PM-6PM. Note-only one adult guest may accompany a student. The crisis support team is also available. Tech staff will also be onsite to assist with repair or issues. #5800Family pic.twitter.com/XC2oYA16ty— Heritage High School (@HeritageHS) September 21, 2021
The board stated that students and staff will remain in virtual instruction until these items are picked up and also they’ve had a chance to hold after-action meetings. No indication was given on a day, but it sounded as though the students can plan to be on virtual for the rest of the week.