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National nonprofit insists on patrolling Huguenot High School, RPS staunchly declines | #schoolsaftey

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A national nonprofit says it will continue its efforts to provide additional safety to students returning to Huguenot High School for another school year.

With its “STOPNOW school patrols effort,” the Uvalde Foundation for Kids (UF) intends to provide additional security to Huguenot High School students after the deadly mass shooting occurred outside the school’s graduation ceremony at the Altria Theatre this past June.

Richmond Public Schools leaders said they are not allowing any third-party safety patrols by the Uvalde Foundation. The school district issued a statement in response to the foundation, saying it has not been communicative about its efforts in sharing details or seeking approval:

“No, we are not allowing any third-party safety patrols by the Uvalde Foundation, as they have not shared any details regarding their plans, sought any approval from RPS, nor have been cooperative in responding to our Director of Safety and Security’s follow up. Prior to the UF’s press release on Monday, August 7, there was no correspondence received by anyone on the RPS leadership team including our Superintendent, Chiefs and Director of Safety and Security. We do have concerns about the organization planning to appear at the school without our permission and we are in contact with RPD about the situation.”

Statement from Richmond City Public Schools

UF founder Daniel Chapin shared email exchanges with 8News which included an automated response from former Huguenot High School principal Robert Gilstria (verified by Richmond Public Schools), a forwarded email to Dr. Willie Bell, an automated response confirming a FOIA request from RPS (verified by Richmond Public Schools), and Richmond School Board member Dr. Shonda Harris-Muhammed.

Harris-Muhammed gave this response to Chapin’s email notifying the future safety efforts by the foundation: “Good morning. Thank you for sharing the information.”

8News reached out to Harris-Muhammed, who responded in part: “Any organization who desires to work within our school division must go through a thorough process in order to provide a service.”

Chapin told 8News that he only received a response from Harris-Muhammed on the foundation’s efforts. However, a spokesperson for RPS confirmed this was false and shared an email chain which included a member of the foundation and John Beazley, the director of safety and security for RPS.

Huguenot High School students are expected to begin school Monday, Aug. 21, and school leaders say their safety is of the utmost importance.

8News also reached out to the Richmond Police Department in regard to what activity is permitted outside of school grounds. We are waiting to hear back.

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