Police Activity Causes School Authorities to Secure the Building


Screenshot of the tweet from Fairfax County Police that many believe caused the safety protocol on Feb. 25th.

Sabria Kazmi, Editor-in-Chief

Fairfax County police notified Jefferson authorities that there was police activity in the local area resulting in an announcement around 10 a.m. on Feb. 25th that no one should exit the building or open any doors to the outside. After about ten minutes, a second announcement notified students and teachers that activity should go back to normal.

Senior Zane Givans first thought the announcement was a safety drill.

“We weren’t too worried at first, but then when Mr. McCormick continued to explain the situation we realized that it was actually something serious,” Givans said.

After the announcement about securing the building was made, Safety and Security Specialist Robert McCormick heard there were questions about opening doors to let students inside the building.

“If they [students] come to school late they’re supposed to go to the main office,” McCormick said. “We have people at that location to [pre]vent anybody that would want to try and get inside the building… If a student opens an exterior door, they’re endangering everybody in the building.”

The announcement worried senior Otilia Danalache but having a class discussion helped with the situation.

“Them [faculty] not telling us exactly what was happening caused everyone to be kind of riled up,” Danalache said. “But our class kind of just talked about it together and we kind of just paused the instructional time, and I think everyone calmed down with the teacher.”

Danalache and others speculated that the school decided to secure the facility due to a person fleeing after robbing a local TD Bank. She was able to find out about the robbery online.

“I was in a classroom that allowed phones, so I just went on Twitter and searched first Alexandria Police and then Fairfax County Police, and that’s when it [the tweet about the robbery] came up,” Danalache said.

McCormick believes the robbery was likely the reason too, but he says the police announcement was vague.

“That’s my understanding as well. The specific details, I don’t know,” McCormick said. “They [the police] usually don’t give us those, they usually just tell us that there’s police activity in the area for a specific reason and it would be a good idea for us to secure the facility until they let us know that it’s clear.”