Gov. Bob McDonnell's task force tells General Assembly more money for school resource officers, tougher gun penalties would help.
Tuesday, February 5
By Blake Belden, Capital News Service Gov. Bob McDonnell is urging state legislators to approve recommendations from his School and Campus Safety Task Force that would increase sentences for illegally buying guns, require mandatory lockdown drills at schools and establish more comprehensive suicide prevention programs, among other suggestions. McDonnell sent the General Assembly a letter outlining initial recommendations from the panel, which the governor established in the wake of December’s school shootings in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children. In the letter, McDonnell highlighted those recommendations he wants legislators to give the "most priority": 10 of them involve public safety (including …
Representatives of three state education agencies issued a rebuttal to Gov. McDonnell's comments about possibly allowing teachers and other school staff to carry weapons.
Virginia educators said they are concerned about the governor’s interest in allowing teachers and staff members to carry guns into schools, noting violence prevention isn’t an issue of more guns, but more funding. Officials with three education associations—the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals (VASSP), the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals (VAESP) and the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS)—released a statement Friday on the issue. It came shortly after the National Rifle Association (NRA) called for "armed security" around schools but was in response to statements earlier this week by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. The education organizations said they appreciate Gov. McDonnell’s …