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Alexandria City High School implements new security measure following student's death

New security protocols will take place at the Alexandria City High School after a student died from being stabbed during a fight at the Bradlee Shopping Center.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Alexandria City High School (ACHS) disclosed new security protocols for the remainder of the school year after a senior at their school was stabbed to death during a large fight at the Bradlee Shopping Center, three blocks away from the school.

Luis Mejia Hernandez, 18, a senior at the school, was taken to a nearby hospital and died from his injuries that were sustained during the fight on Tuesday that involved 30 to 50 people.

Starting Tuesday, the detail office from the Alexandria Police Department (APD) will be at the King Street and Minnie Howard campuses. There will be additional security officers supervising the inside and outside of both campuses, and the use of select entry/ access points will be restricted.

"As we continue to mourn and grieve, the wellbeing and safety of our students and staff is our utmost priority," Executive Principal Peter Ballas said in a letter to the school community. "We want to assure you that there are resources in place for anyone who needs counseling or just someone to talk to, and we will continue to make these resources available through the end of the school year, both virtually and in-person." 

RELATED: 18-year-old ACHS senior stabbed to death in Alexandria shopping center, police say

Students will need identification such as school ID cards to access all ACHS campuses. Staff will be checking for IDs when students arrive at the campuses. 

Classes will transition via school-wide announcements to help reduce hallway traffic. At the Minnie Howard Campus, classes will be dismissed by hallway, while at the King Street Campus, classes will be dismissed by the floor at the end of each period. 

The King Street Campus will divide lunch into two 35-minute sessions, which will only allow half the number of students at any given time to be together. The Minnie Howard Campus will stay with its current lunch structure. 

Both campuses will see an increase in adult supervision in the common areas and hallways.

RELATED: 'You have done nothing to help our kids' | Advisory board to study safety and school resource officer program in Alexandria City Public Schools

The school is implementing staggered and incremental afternoon dismissal for both campuses, and it will be done by hallway. The new protocol will have some students arriving home later than usual.

As for sports, athletic competitions will take place at non-ACHS fields or at away venues.  

Beginning Tuesday morning, additional counseling will be available all week, and students can participate in community circles as well. 

The school is working in collaboration with APD, representatives from Bradlee Shopping Center, and the City of Alexandria leadership to implement additional measures for students across the campuses.  

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