VSBA proposal seeks to allow school security officers to be armed

Kim Robins - Posted on Jan 09, 2013 - 02:04 PM

Armed school security officers could be an alternative to armed teachers, the Virginia School Boards Association said in a statement released Monday.

The VSBA said it expects legislation to be submitted to the 2013 session of the Virginia General Assembly in response to the shooting of students and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The proposals will be in addition to recommendations from the Task Force on School and Campus Safety that Gov. Bob McDonnell established following the shootings.

The VSBA commended McDonnell for establishing the task force, and said it was particularly pleased that among the issues it will study is how the role of school security officers may be improved and expanded.

The VSBA said the General Assembly passed legislation in 2002 that limited the role of school security officers employed by school boards by prohibiting them from being appointed conservators of the peace or as special police officers, which had the effect of prohibiting them from carrying firearms on public school campuses.

The VSBA said it believes consideration should be given to repealing that legislation as an alternative to having school principals and teachers carry firearms in schools.