Violence on the Rise at Arlington Public Schools

In the past four days, violent fights involving weapons occurred near Thomas Jefferson and Gunston middle schools. Virginia Gentles, a Senior Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, joined O’Connor & Company this morning to discuss the increase in violence in Arlington Public Schools.

“It was politically popular thing amongst progressive school boards to remove school resource officers, and [Arlington] and Alexandria did it … Alexandria addressed the violence and, I believe, returned SRO’s to the classroom. There is no indication that, that is going to happen in Arlington. In fact, Arlington Public Schools has put out a statement acknowledging that there has been an increase in violence, so at least they are acknowledging that this is happening. But, they went on to talk about the importance of instilling positive social emotional skills in students,” Gentles responded when as about the impact on removing school resource officers.

Parents across the district are speaking out against the rise in violent encounters occurring in Arlington’s Public School system and calling for more disciplinary against students engaged in violent behavior as well as the reinstitution of school resource officers.

Arlington Public School spokesperson Andrew Robinson looked to shield administrators from blame for the increase in violence, claiming “This rise in concerning behaviors follows the national trend that is not unique to Arlington, as students re-acclimate to being back in school and face increased stress and anxiety, as well as other mental health and social-emotional challenges due to COVID and the trauma students experienced as a result.”

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