Portsmouth Public Schools superintendent talks plans to make schools safer


PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Portsmouth parents say they are relieved to hear that more security could be coming to Portsmouth schools.

"I think that it's a wonderful idea," said parent Andrea Johnson. "There are so many things around the world going on at the schools, and that is the last place anyone should try to do anything because that’s our kids that is our future."

The school board approved a $192.9 million budget last night, but in order to get everything mentioned in the budget they need $2.3 million from the city.

The extra funds will give staff a two percent raise and add nine security officers.

News 3's Allison Mechanic sat down with the superintendent of Portsmouth Public Schools Friday to find out how he plans to make schools safer.

"Security is needed now. I've asked for security in previous years. Last year I felt that was something that would provide a peace of mind for our staff," said Dr. Elie Bracy III, Superintendent of Portsmouth Public Schools. "This is something we had in place before the tragic incident in Florida. I know now as a result of that they will feel more at ease doing this kind of implementation with security officers."

According to Dr. Bracy, right now there are some security officers at Portsmouth middle and high schools but none in the elementary schools. With the additional officers, there will be enough security officers for every elementary school: Three officers for middle schools and four for high schools.

"Security officers will provide an added level of security. They will monitor throughout the day, checking doors, monitor hallways and making sure that everything and everyone is in place," he said.

Earlier this week, the Chesapeake City Council voted to approve $2 million in emergency appropriations to improve security at schools and facilities. The Portsmouth City Council will decide whether or not a similar budget will be implemented with a vote in May.

Related:

Portsmouth School Board approves budget plan for staff raises, increased school security 

Chesapeake City Council approves $2M emergency appropriation for extra school security