EDUCATION

Governor McDonnell calls on leaders to focus on school safety

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A task force appointed by Governor Bob McDonnell has unveiled its own recommendations for school safety in Virginia. 

The governor called on leaders in education, politics and law enforcment to focus on school safety, including Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. The final report is due out in June, but the early ideas are already taking root.

Not far from Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, the question of school safety isn’t really a question at all.

“Anyone that doesn’t think it’s important, there’s got to be something wrong with them.”

Monday at Loudoun Valley, the sheriff’s office held a drill dealing with the possibility of an active shooter.

As state and national groups look at ways to prevent school shootings, a school safety task force created in the wake of Newtown has made recommendations, like requiring lock-down drills and training for school resource officers.

“I think getting out in front of the issues is always the key,” says Sheriff Mike Chapman.

Chapman is on the task force, helping law enforcement deal with threats stemming from mental illness.

“So they’re in a position where they understand them better, they can help de-escalate situations better. Just an overall understanding of how everything works,” he says.

The NRA unveiled its "School Shield" initiative Tuesday, a report recommending safety measures, most notably having a trained, armed officer in every school in America. It's an idea sure to continue generating debate.

While the NRA’s proposals would impact guns in schools, Hutchinson says the group’s report would not focus on the proposed gun laws currently being debated in Congress.

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