FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) - Schools, businesses and law enforcement have been planning for any possible unrest that may occur once the grand jury in the Michael Brown shooting case makes - and announces - a decision.
Two more school districts issued letters this week about preparations and safety procedures ahead of the decision. Pattonville School District sent out a letter to parents Thursday saying “In light of the impending grand jury decision, Pattonville will continue to be a source of stability and support for our students. School will continue as normal.”
University City School District posted updated resources for parents regarding their contingency plans on its website.
Many have said they would like advance notice about the grand jury announcement. However, officials said such a notice will not be given.
“You want advance notice so you can make decisions on if the children are going to go to school and if there needs to be any precautions taken,” explained Dontrell Thomas, a parent in the Ferguson-Florissant School District.
Thursday, a spokesperson for St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch's office told News 4 the grand jury, which meets only once a week on Wednesdays, is still hearing evidence. Officials said rumors circling on social media that a decision will come this upcoming weekend are simply not true. McCulloch's office reiterated a decision is expected in mid-November at the earliest.
A letter sent to parents by University City School District said the decision “is expected to be announced in the next week or so.”
Schools, just like much of the public, don't have any greater insight into when it will happen.
“I think it should be after school, when the children are at home,” said Thomas.
Several school districts, including the Ferguson-Florissant District sent a letter to McCulloch’s office requesting the announcement come after school hours, but a spokesperson said they have made no decision on what time or what day the decision will be made.
“To be honest I’m looking forward to hearing something, it’s been a long time going,we hope that justice prevails and that we get a just outcome,” said Thomas.
St Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson also issued a message to the public Thursday on his website.
“The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office confirmed that a grand jury continues to hear evidence and that they expect a decision on charges for Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson soon. Although I can’t predict the outcome of the process or what may occur as a result of the decision, as the City’s Chief of Police, I can reassure you of the Metropolitan Police Department’s commitment to your safety and your rights. No matter what the announcement is, the department’s first priority is to protect and serve our citizens…and that includes protesters. And we are ready to do so.”