Some Alexandria parents question school safety without resource officers on campus

Parents of Alexandria Public Schools are calling for improvements to student safety.

RELATED: Juvenile shot following fight in Alexandria, police say

This comes after a juvenile was shot after school last week. The student suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

While not on the agenda Tuesday night, parents showed up to confront members of Alexandria City Council on their way into a board meeting. The board narrowly voted earlier this year to remove School Resource Officers from school buildings.  The School Board disagreed with that decision when it was made, but says it accepts and respects the decision.

Funds were instead made available to bolster mental health programs for students in the district.

Parents outside council believe School Resource Officers are needed back in school.

"We need to have a security there. Whether it’s security guards, hall monitors, or maybe two or three police officers, you know?" said Roxana Guerra, who says her son was bullied and got into a fight since school started.

Parents confronted councilmen John Chapman and Canek Aguirre as they walked in.

Aguirre told parents he would be willing to talk to them after the meeting was over and told them, at this point, he doesn’t see evidence that School Resource Officers are needed in the buildings.

Chapman listened as parents spoke to him, telling FOX 5 that student safety is always an ongoing conversation.

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"I’d like to say the conversations are never over. I think we still continue to evolve what’s best for our kids and our students and our faculty," Chapman said.

Alexandria Public Schools tells FOX 5 they’re continuing to work with council and police to improve student safety. Late last week, the district and Alexandria Police agreed to a memorandum of understanding about how police will respond to incidents that require them to come to a school.

A parent confronting board members held a sign expressing frustration that the hiring of mental health counselors has moved slowly. FOX 5 asked Chapman, who confirmed he’d like to see the pace of hiring resources move faster.

"That’s the biggest piece for us. Let’s get this moving, let’s get this thing rolling. I think I’m still having conversations with the school board about the way forward and what we continue to look at," Chapman said.

While not on the agenda Tuesday night, council did speak about student safety at the meeting, some members of council indicating they may host a public forum to hear parent concerns.