ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Safety is at the top of minds for lots of people around Virginia after a shooting occurred outside of a high school graduation ceremony in Richmond on June 6.
As graduations carry on, schools are continuing to make sure safety is their number one priority for families, students, and staff.
“I want it to be really special and I wouldn’t want someone to come and ruin that,” said Allison Escobar, a family member of one of the William Fleming graduates.
Security was obvious at William Fleming High School’s graduation. Security measures included metal detectors, police, and EMS officers. Even though the security precautions are there every year, one family member says the amount of security made her feel at ease.
“Because I’m surrounded by a lot of people, and you just never know what could happen, the fact that maybe I could lose a family member here on a really special event like this and it would be really tragic for everybody,” said Escobar.
In 2021, a shooting near the Berglund Center injured one teenager prior to the start of graduation practice for William Fleming. Roanoke City School officials say after that incident they added additional security screenings for students. One student says there is a lot of fear after something like this happens.
“It’s scary to think that your kid could go to graduation practice or graduation and be harmed or not come back,” said Peyton Mayo. “It’s something we want to celebrate and not be fearful of.”
She added that the security measures in place today did help her feel safe.
“Being able to walk through the metal detectors and know that we are completely safe and that there’s police guards walking around and that they are taking care of us and that if anything were to happen, they would just be there and they would be ready for anything,” said Mayo.
Another family member said she would rather people be prepared ahead of time.
“Anything is subject to happen at anywhere, so yes, I’m glad that presence was here, seen and known,” said Josephine Ferguson, a family member of a William Fleming graduate.