News Flash

Fredericksburg News

Posted on: December 18, 2023

FXBG Steering Committee Advances Effort to Enhance Community Safety, Address Teen Violence

FXBG Steering Committee Newsflash

Updated: December 15, 2023

Following events of violence in the community earlier this year, the Fredericksburg City Public Schools partnered with the City of Fredericksburg to form the FXBG Steering Committee on Teen Violence.

The committee consists of more than 30 members, including city officials, division leaders, parents, and community partners. The group has been meeting monthly since July, with a special focus on reducing teen violence.

To maximize the group’s efficiency, the committee is subdivided into four subcommittees: Youth Activities and Education, Youth Wellbeing, Parenting and Family Dynamics, and Community. All four subcommittees are also addressing the issue of social media and the negative impact it can have on each of these areas.

“Teen Violence Prevention is critical work – it is also bigger than any one organization can tackle alone,” said Timothy Baroody, Fredericksburg City Manager. “I’m grateful for the community members and organizations who have come to the table. The only way this works is by pulling together, and pooling our collective talents and resources to help create the peaceful community in which our residents of all ages can thrive.”

“The issue of teen violence extends far beyond school walls and can impact every corner of our community,” said Dr. Marci Catlett, Superintendent of Fredericksburg City Public Schools. “For that reason, we are committed to ongoing transparency and accountability throughout this process. As the committee continues to meet, we will keep sharing our progress with the entire community.” 

The steering committee would like to highlight for the community some of the actions initiated that are intended to have an impact on reducing teen violence:

  • Mothers Opposed to Violence (MOV) Group: Mothers in the area have gathered as a group to create a presence at James Monroe High School.
  • Youth Council: The NAACP is establishing a local youth council.
  • Re-Implementation of Regional Gang Task Force: The Fredericksburg Police Department added a full-time gang detective and assisted with re-establishing a Regional Gang Task Force to focus on the specific issues associated with gang activity and violence.
  • Extracurricular Activities and Programming for Teens: The committee is helping plan activities, including spring/summer 2024 programming, the expansion of the FCPS James Farmer Scholars program in Grades 3-8, free open skate nights at the Dixon Park hockey rink, a division science writing contest for students in grades 5 and 8, and a summer basketball league with practices and games for 13- to 17-year-old kids.
  • New School Division Disciplinary Guidelines: FCPS implemented expectations that students do not have cell phones, hats, and hoodies while in school. 
  • Inspiring Video Messages: Committee members produced videos that share messages of identity, belonging, connection, care, love, values, and self-esteem. They are being shared with the FCPS students as well as the community. To view the completed videos, please visit WeAreOne24401.com.
  • Mental Health Services: With support from Mary Washington Healthcare, a mental health professional has been added to provide in-school services to students.
  • Parent Education Options: The committee is communicating with community resources to plan and offer accessible parent education courses and programs. 
  • Speak Out Event: The school division hosted a Speak Out event for students in grades 9-12 to share their voices with the FCPS school administration and School Board. Next steps include developing a task force dedicated to addressing student concerns shared during the event.

The FXBG Steering Committee on Teenage Violence would like to publicly thank the following partners for engaging in this critical collective engagement to support our community:

  • City of Fredericksburg
  • Fredericksburg City Public Schools
  • 15th Judicial District Court Services
  • City of Fredericksburg Police Department
  • Fredericksburg City Council
  • Fredericksburg Commonwealth Attorney’s Office
  • Fredericksburg Department of Social Services
  • Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation and Events Department
  • Fredericksburg Sheriff’s Office
  • Kingdom Family Worship Center
  • Mary Washington HealthCare
  • Mayfield Civic Association
  • NAACP Fredericksburg Branch
  • Rappahannock Area Community Services Board
  • Rappahannock Area Health District
  • Rappahannock Area Office on Youth
  • Rappahannock Juvenile Center
  • Shiloh Baptist Church New Site
  • Shiloh Baptist Church Old Site
  • St. George’s Episcopal Church
  • Virginia Area Youth Football Alliance

Next, the committee plans on formally charting its course with the creation of a clearly defined mission, vision, and goals. Simultaneously, efforts are underway to write a comprehensive action plan designed to guide the committee in their efforts. These strategic initiatives underscore the committee's dedication to purposeful and enduring contributions.

For more information on this work, to include a month by month Roadmap of activities and a DRAFT Action Plan please see https://www.fredericksburgva.gov/1921/Community-Safety.

Any community member interested in deeper involvement with the FXBG Steering Committee on Teenage Violence is invited to contact Fredericksburg City Manager Tim Baroody at 540-372-1010 or Superintendent of FCPS Dr. Marci Catlett at 540-372-1130. 

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Updated: September 15, 2023

FXBG Steering Committee on Teenage Violence Meets to Discuss Critical Community Issues

Members of the FXBG Steering Committee on Teenage Violence met August 28 as part of the group’s continued mission to address safety concerns affecting the Fredericksburg community.

The committee features more than 30 civic, education, and community members along with representatives from the City of Fredericksburg and Fredericksburg City Public Schools, who are seeking solutions to issues like gun violence and gang activity, while expanding opportunities and activities designed to create deeper relationships for the city’s youth. 

At the latest meeting, the Steering Committee discussed potential steps to enhance safety in the community and schools, and heard reports from subcommittee members who are identifying and prioritizing potential short- and long-term solutions.

"We are already seeing progress in addressing the problem of teenage violence. It is powerful to witness changes happen when community members meet, plan and initiate strategies that positively impact our children,” said Dr. Marceline Catlett, Superintendent of Fredericksburg City Public Schools.

“We are incredibly appreciative of our Steering Committee members as they come together for some productive conversations about how we address a critical issue in our community,” said Timothy J. Baroody, City Manager. “These conversations will ultimately lead to a guiding action plan on how we can best move forward. It is wonderful to see our community rally on behalf of our children and all of our residents.”

The next Steering Committee meeting is planned for early October. More information about the Steering Committee and community safety initiatives, please visit fredericksburgva.gov/CommunitySafety


Updated: August 28, 2023

Local Resources (1) Opens in new windowCommunity Resource Guide

Community resources are people, places, and activities that can help promote well-being for our youth, our families, and the community as a whole. Fredericksburg City Public Schools has provided a guide for Local Resources to Know to help connect students and their families to local resources for food, housing, employment, adult education, child care, health, family and community support.  Special thanks to Laura Dove, Director of Preschool Programs, Fredericksburg City Schools for helping with this guide. Please download and help share this information: Local Resources to Know (PDF)

Community Engagement Roadmap

Teen Violence - Community Engagement Roadmap - Reported updates August 28, 2023 (PDF)


Updated: July 21, 2023

Safety Efforts Fact Sheet

The City of Fredericksburg and Fredericksburg City Schools have provided the following fact sheet that highlights our school safety measures and protocols: FCPS School Safety Efforts 22-23 (PDF)

Safety Efforts 22-23 Opens in new window


Updated: July 14, 2023

Training, technology, and partnerships lead to enhanced safety throughout the community and schools

The City of Fredericksburg (the City) and Fredericksburg City Public Schools (FCPS) continue to place a priority on school safety and security as they plan for the 2023-24 school year. In an effort to keep safety as our top priority, a Community Engagement Roadmap has been jointly created by the City and FCPS. It addresses teen violence in our City and seeks to engage our whole community in support of the City’s and FCPS’ safety and prevention measures to help keep our youth and our community safe.   This roadmap includes our joint efforts to share information about school safety measures and protocols implemented over the past two years, as well as plans to reestablish a multi-jurisdictional Regional Taskforce. A City of Fredericksburg Steering Committee on Teenage Violence is also being created. The roadmap includes plans to engage the community on discussion areas and progress and make resources and information available to families to help support our community-wide effort to reduce teen violence in Fredericksburg.  

The current nationwide risk environment is elevated, as violence in our communities is rising.  The City of Fredericksburg specifically is seeing an increased number of juveniles with access to firearms or possessing firearms. The City has experienced the murders of two of our young people, Jasiah Smith in March and Antione Fox in June of this year. The Fredericksburg Police Department has arrested two young men as suspects in the murder of Jasiah Smith, while the person or persons who murdered Antione Fox are still at large with the investigation into his murder remaining open at this time. 

Our school division takes student safety very seriously. Last school year, the division implemented a variety of new and updated safety initiatives. This includes holding regular meetings with the Fredericksburg Police Department, the Fredericksburg Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Services, and Fredericksburg Fire Department. A School Resource Officer was assigned to Walker-Grant Middle School, and a Safety and Operations Coordinator position was also introduced in FCPS.

The division has maintained strong partnerships with local law enforcement, City leadership, the Department of Social Services and other agencies, bolstering its safety and security efforts. In August 2022, all staff were trained by the Fredericksburg Police Department in how to respond in a crisis. In September 2022, FCPS held a Public Safety Forum in partnership with multiple local police and emergency services departments.

In the 2023-24 school year, FCPS will purchase and install weapons detection systems at entrances in James Monroe High School, the alternative education building (Original Walker-Grant) and Walker-Grant Middle School. 3M protective film will also be placed on all main entrance doors, safety vestibules, and office windows. Meetings and training, in partnership with the City’s public safety and emergency services departments, will continue this school year as our teams keep student safety a top priority.

“We understand that recent community events involving teenagers and young adults with violence have caused a heightened level of concern,” said Dr. Marceline Catlett, Superintendent. “With the opening of schools approaching, we want to assure the community that we will continue to plan for protecting our students and staff each day.  Our top priority is maintaining a safe, secure, and welcoming learning environment throughout our schools.”

The joint efforts to support City Schools’ increasing safety measures and protocols, combined with our ongoing safety protocols touching every aspect of community relations, are a large part of the work that the City of Fredericksburg is doing to help address community safety. Additionally, the Fredericksburg Police Department has been working tirelessly to address crime in the City, as evidenced in their recent announcement of summer arrests, including multiple weapons charges. Our Fredericksburg Emergency Services teams have trained, and continue to train, on a variety of safety initiatives. And our Parks, Recreation and Events Department has worked hard to create safe parks and facilities, along with more engaging programs and ensuring safe public events are being held in our City parks. 

“This Community Engagement Roadmap is some of the most important work we are doing in the City right now. Our youth, their safety and care, is of utmost importance, and we encourage everyone in our community to take ownership of these community efforts to reduce violence in our community, especially among our youth,” states Tim Baroody, City Manager.

Please follow the City and FCPS websites and social media for ongoing updates: 

City of Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg Police Department

Fredericksburg City Schools 

The investigation on the recent shooting is ongoing and the Fredericksburg Police Department asks anyone with information regarding this incident to call (540) 373-3122. To make an anonymous tip, send a text to “847-411” and text “FPDtip” followed by your tip. Or, download the free FPD Tip app available for Android and iPhones. To download the app, search “FPD Tip” in the Google or iTunes App Store.

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