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VSBA Talks School Safety Solutions with McDonnell's Staff - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

VSBA Talks School Safety Solutions with McDonnell's Staff

Posted: Updated: Jan 8, 2013 04:38 PM EST

A Charlottesville-based group representing Virginia's schools is lobbying lawmakers in Richmond to avoid a knee-jerk reaction when it comes to keeping kids safe on campus.

As the General Assembly gets ready to meet Wednesday, directors from the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) met with Governor Bob McDonnell's policy staffers in Richmond Tuesday.

The association represents school boards statewide. It recommends lawmakers consider repealing legislation that prevents school security guards - like Charlottesville's three community service officers - from carrying weapons.

The VSBA suggests that would be safer than arming teachers and principals, which was McDonnell's much-criticized response to last month's deadly shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School.

A member of the association will take part in the Governor's Task Force on School and Campus Safety.

"We're givers and we're carers and we want to do things about it. But, when you get an issue that's this intense with so many interested parties, you really need to step back," said Barbara Coyle, VSBA executive director.

Albemarle County Superintendent Matt Haas said, "What I'm looking to come out of the General Assembly and the governor's proposals could be enhancements to what we already have in place."

Charlottesville police placed five armed officers at city schools. Albemarle County police have school resource officers at each high school.

Albemarle schools say they are strongly opposed to any laws that would allow anyone besides police officers to carry guns on campus.

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