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VEA School Safety Task Force Member: No Guns for Teachers Please

GRAPHIC: In light of the recent school shooting in Connecticut, Gov. Bob McDonnell formed the Campus and School Safety Task Force which includes Virginia Education Association.
GRAPHIC: In light of the recent school shooting in Connecticut, Gov. Bob McDonnell formed the Campus and School Safety Task Force which includes Virginia Education Association.
January 24, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. - In light of the recent school shooting in Connecticut, Gov. Bob McDonnell formed the Campus and School Safety Task Force - consisting of school administrators, law enforcement, mental health practitioners and others - to examine school safety issues and establish safety guidelines for schools in Virginia.

One idea that has been floating around the state Legislature is to arm teachers and administrators. Meg Gruber, president of the Virginia Education Association, is a member of the task force.

"We are opposed to educators carrying guns. We don't believe that that's in the best interest of our students. Carrying of weapons is best left to those who are properly trained. Our teachers are very well trained in what to do in emergencies and how to protect our students."

Despite a few incidents of gun violence in Virginia schools, Gruber said, her organization hasn't received any recent reports from school employees concerned for their safety, nor has she been approached by a single educator who wants to be armed at school.

"The public just needs to be reassured that our schools are safe, and that we're doing everything that is humanly possible."

The task force will send its initial recommendation by Jan. 31, and will make additional recommendations on an ongoing basis with a final report due in June.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA