The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Grace Harris
School Security Officer’s Von Hill and Malcom Nelson on the job.

Security Staff Work to Keep FCHS Safe

With 1,263,342 students currently enrolled in Virginia public schools, safety is a concern for many parents, staff, and students. At FCHS, there are many security measures in place to help ensure the safety of the school, including two school resource officers (SROs), Carter Henley and Tre Ayers.

This year, thanks to a grant, FCHS is also welcoming two new school security officers (SSOs), Von Hill and Malcom Nelson, to the school security team.

Hill may be recognizable to Fluvanna students as someone who has been the DJ for numerous FCHS dances. He graduated from Fluvanna in May of 2015. He then went on to attend PVCC for a year and a half before taking a break from school. He is currently taking online classes in psychology through Ashworth College. In 2018, Hill joined the US army. He has served in the National Guard for the past six years, and has just reenlisted for six more years.

Nelson came to FCHS after working at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women as a captain for 17 years. Prior to that he worked 10 years at the men’s prison in Goochland. He is currently a part-time employee for the Virginia Correctional Center. Nelson, who graduated from FCHS in 1984, said that he made the switch to FCHS in part because he “wanted to come back and help and mentor some of the kids here.”

Resource Officer Henley recently explained the difference between resource officers and school security officers.

“We work together as a team, but school security officers are employed by the school; they are an extension of the administrators and do not carry any weapons, while school resource officers are with the sheriff’s department and typically carry a taser and a gun,” explained Henley.

School resource officers may carry weapons and focus on protecting the school, but they are still there for the students. “Officer Ayers and I are here as mentors in education. I think probably 1% of the time we have to deal with criminal activity, and when we do, it’s usually minor things like vaping,” said Henley.

Students are encouraged to speak up if they see something suspicious.

“I’d rather have someone say, ‘Hey, I think something is going on,’ then we check it out, and it turns out to be nothing, than not saying anything and it turns out to be something,” Henley said. She added, “After violence occurs at a school, it is usually discovered that someone was aware of it before the incident.”

Henley explained that students should go to any staff member, parent, or resource officer if they’re concerned about the safety of the school, as it’s always better for the school to be prepared for even the possibility of a violent event.

School safety is important even while school isn’t in session, so during non-school hours, the entire school is locked down and set on an alarm system.

“Only a few staff members have the code to the security system. If someone doesn’t have the code and they somehow get into the school, the police will be right behind them,” said Hill. Cameras surround the school day and night, so any security officer or resource officer can see the entire school whenever needed.

Hill said that students can help keep the school safe by ensuring all classroom doors are locked as much as possible during the day. “If we get into the routine of locking our doors now, then if there is ever an incident, we will be prepared,” he said.

Students who have security questions are encouraged to speak to Hill or Nelson when they see them in the hallways, or to reach out to Officer Henley at [email protected] or Officer Ayers at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Fluco Beat Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *