Area schools are preparing for the imminent announcement of the grand jury verdict in the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. A letter posted to the school district’s website said the St. Louis County prosecutor would provide schools with three hours’ notice if the decision is reached on a weekday or 24 hours notice if the decision comes on a weekend.
“The three-hour window will allow us enough time to transport students home safely,” Superintendent Grayling Tobias said.
Reuters reports that signs of preparedness around the town are noticeable: “businesses along the Ferguson street that saw the worst of the August unrest keeping boards on their windows and some shops near the Ferguson Police Department also beginning to board up their fronts.”
Churches are also preparing and plan to offer “prayer, shelter, food and a sanctuary for protesters, residents, students and others affected by potential unrest.” A coalition of 11 churches in the area have formed a partnership with two school districts to provide support for families after the grand jury announcement is made.
The Brown family attorney’s have called on the community and law enforcement to be “peaceful, calm and dignified” as a grand jury weighs charges.
“Regardless of the decision of the grand jury, this will be a defining moment in the history of the state of Missouri,” attorney Benjamin Crump said.