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Uninvited group plans to patrol Huguenot High School for safety. RPS says they’re not allowed | #schoolsaftey

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Who is the Uvalde Foundation for Kids? That’s the question Richmond school leaders are asking after reports surfaced that the group would be patrolling outside Huguenot High School in the upcoming school year.

The group, which was formed after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas last year, said the mission is to “end school violence and enrich student lives.” According to its website, they have launched investigations and patrols at schools across the country and have “already made a significant impact in the fight against school violence.”

On Aug. 6, 8News received a press release stating that the group would be turning its focus to Huguenot High School after the tragic death of Shawn Jackson and his stepfather Renzo Smith at the school’s graduation. The released announced an active recruitment call for “Stop Now” volunteer patrols at the school. The volunteers — who would be subject to drug and background checks, as well as trained in situational awareness and self defense — would be stationed on the perimeter of the school.

However, according to Richmond Schools, the group was uninvited.

“It came as a surprise to yours truly and all stakeholders,” said school board member Jonathan Young. “I’m a little suspect to be real honest with you.”

Young added, “We need help and we welcome help, but what we don’t invite is an organization that, God forbid, is going to leverage a tragedy for their benefit. My judgement is still out.”

In a statement to 8News, a spokesperson for RPS wrote: “We don’t know where the report of the Uvalde Foundation’s planning of volunteer patrols is coming from. To the best of our knowledge, no one at RPS requested this group to participate in any manner whatsoever. Furthermore, they would not be allowed to do so without prior approval.”

On Wednesday, 8News reached out to the nonprofit’s founder, Daniel Chapin, requesting an interview. The phone call repeatedly went to voicemail. However, Chapin sent an email response.

“Currently, the foundation will not be conducting formal interviews,” the email stated. “Whether a school approves our inquiries remains irrelevant next to ensuring schools and institutions entrusted with the care of our students do just that.”

Chapin said 36 volunteer applications had already been received.

According to RPS, the division will maintain security protocols, and additional security will be provided if necessary.

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