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The Culpeper Star Exponent

Local Schools Focused on Student Safety

October 1, 2007

SUMMARY: Culpeper County Public Schools are aware of the inherent dangers to school children in todayís society and are doing their best to provide a safe atmosphere.

Figures released Monday by Culpeper County Public Schools show an enrollment of 7,383 students.

The goal of every administrator, teacher and staff member is to see that those students learn - and have a safe environment in which to do it.

Since Columbine on April 20, 1999, and more recently with the April 16 massacre at Virginia Tech, the focus of school leaders nationwide has been on ways of providing more secure schools. Itís not an easy task.

At Culpeper County High and Culpeper Middle, students travel back and forth between three buildings. After school, a number of students endure long waits outside for their bus to arrive at the high school and CMS. Naturally, each scenario holds the potential for problems.

CCPS has recently implemented the SchoolMessenger communications system. It is a way to inform parents not only about potential crisis situations, but also about such things as absenteeism and school closures. We think it is a wise move.

No one can plan for the vast array of possible crisis situations. The opportunities to do harm on a school campus are varied and horrifying.

But school divisions can - and should - evaluate, plan and prepare to the best of their abilities.

We feel confident that our local public school system is doing that.