Alexandria City High School opened its doors Tuesday for the first time since a student was killed in a chaotic fight off-campus. However, most students will learn virtually for the rest of the week.
Luis Mejia Hernandez, an 18-year-old senior, was killed last Tuesday during a chaotic fight off-campus. No arrests have been announced. School administrators say they’re monitoring the Alexandria Police Department investigation.
Alexandria City High School announced Monday that it will carry out a “modified return” and only some students should come to its four campuses this week. That includes students who need to complete testing or graduation requirements.
“The school will focus on social, emotional and academic learning to help fulfill critical in-person graduation requirements and provide students with the social-emotional support they need,” administrators said.
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Michele and Rene Islas have four children in Alexandria City Public Schools, and two of them are students at Alexandria City High School. Like many parents in this community, they say they’ve been on alert for the last week.
“It makes me very sad that my children are now afraid to go to school,” Michele said. “This closing of the school year is actually a sigh of relief for me, because I will have all of my children home and safe."
Rene Islas said his daughter was at Bradlee Shopping Center, just down the street from the school, moments before the deadly brawl involving 30 to 50 teens broke out.
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“I can tell you our daughter is not prepared to go, and we’re not prepared for her to go,” he said.
Administrators say many students would participate in asynchronous virtual learning from Tuesday to Friday under the “modified return” plan.
Only these students are expected to report to school, per officials:
- Seniors who need to complete graduation requirements.
- Seniors who must participate in graduation rehearsal (June 3).
- Students who must fulfill SOL or other required testing.
- Students in ACHS city-wide specialized instructional program.
Rene Islas said he sent out a survey weeks before the deadly fight. He said hundreds of parents responded and more than 80% said they are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about safety in the city’s schools.
“My concern is that this is becoming so routine, so prevalent and we need to stop it,” he said.
Anyone with information about the death of Hernandez is asked to contact Alexandria police.