Brownsville and Henley get through the day after
"Thank you all for being here," said one teacher this morning at Henley Middle School as she entered the building at 8:15am amid five Albemarle police cruisers and a similar number of uniformed officers– a bigger-than-normal police presence at the school to ensure a normal day.
"They just want us here for parent and student comfort," said Sergeant Scott Cox, as the sun shone on a quiet morning at the Crozet-area public school, one day after Henley and the next-door Brownsville Elementary were closed by authorities after an allegedly suspicious envelope and cylinder were discovered at the schools.
Attendance at both schools were lower than normal, with 52 students staying home from Brownsville (only nine of which were confirmed to be sick) and 55 students missing school at Henley. Albemarle schools superintendent Pam Moran says that those parents who are still concerned about yesterday's bomb threat should rest assured that it's okay for their children to come back to class.
"The police, nor the school board, nor I would put them back in a school where there was any challenge to their safety," she says, "Our schools have a safety plan that our staff are all aware of, and when we occasionally have issues that challenge the safety of our schools, at that point we will implement our safety plan as we did yesterday."
While expressing her deep concern about Tuesday's threat, Moran says the good news is that when school officials and police needed to work together, everything came off without a hitch.
"We've all had to learn how to do this in the last few years and when we had a situation yesterday the system functioned so well," she says. "Everyone knew what to do, how to communicate with each other, and how to help each other."
Moran, along with other county school officials and law enforcement, will hold a "Safety in Schools Forum" on Wednesday April 11 at 7pm at Western Albemarle High School.