Va. School Safety Task Force Makes Recommendations

The idea of giving guns to teachers or other staff members is not off the table for Virginia’s School and Campus Safety Task Force.

Gov. Bob McDonnell’s task force has only been meeting for a few weeks, but its mission is urgent: Reviewing school security in the commonwealth to try to make sure the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., won't happen in Virginia.

The task force made its first recommendations Thursday, and they could be acted on before the General Assembly adjourns.

Among the proposals: Each K-12 school should be required to designate an emergency manager, they should have threat assessment teams to monitor potential danger within the school walls, and all should do lockdown drills at minimum at the beginning of each semester.

The task force also examined the controversial idea of arming principals or school security officers but concluded that needs more study. They'll report back in late June.

Other recommendations focused on stiffening penalties for those who would help get a gun for someone barred from having one and for those who would enter a school with a gun to do harm.

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