Governor McDonnell Creates School Safety Task Force

Franklin Co., VA - Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell says he will create a task force designed to review state wide school safety; this, prompted by the horrific Sandy Hook School shootings.

McDonnell said he is ready to make sure something of Sandy Hook's magnitude does not happen in any Virginia public schools.

The commonwealth, has had its fair share of school violence, and as the Governor said, he knows all too well of its devastating effects.

"20 little six year olds have their poor little bodies riddled with bullets. I still cannot quite, quite come to terms with that" he said.

Governor Bob McDonnell, as a lawmaker, as a parent, decided just days after the devastation at Sandy Hook, to take another look at Virginia school safety.

"What we can do in the schools, with our school resource officers, with our law enforcement officers, with our regular protocols, just like we did in the wake of Virginia Tech" he said.

Only this time, McDonnell is taking it one step further, by creating a task force designed to evaluate the practices of state schools at all levels, and identifying what's done right, what's done wrong, and what needs changing.

"We will take all those lessons learned and apply it to our schools here in Virginia. We'll complete the school safety audits and then make some reasonable recommendations to the legislature" said McDonnell.

"Public safety is a core function of government and when it comes to protecting our children, Virginia's future, I think every dollar should be on the table" said State Senator, Bill Stanley.

One role of the task force: identifying school safety loop-holes that would require more funding from the legislature.

Stanley is on board.

"We need to look at what we can do as a government to ensure the safety of our parents' children" he said.

Those parents, so far, with mixed reviews.

"It's a really big relief that I can count on the Governor and other authorities to help us out" said Bedford County parent, Jessica Canfield.

"Most politicians like to talk about things like this when they happen or whatever, but then it gradually dies away as time goes on," said a parent of one High School student.

Governor McDonnell has said that he is willing to re-evaluate school employees being able to carry weapons.

He's hoping to bring budget and legislative proposals to the legislature before March.