Governor Bob McDonnell announced on January 9th the membership of his newly-created Task Force of School and Campus Safety. The membership includes educators, public safety experts, local leaders, mental health practitioners, legislators, parents, and students. The group will review school safety, including established policies and procedures, crisis and emergency management plans, threat assessment protocols, as well as share best practices and identify resource challenges. This task force will also provide legislative and budget proposals to the governor to address any critical gaps or needs associated with safety and security in our schools and on our campuses.
Speaking about the membership, Governor McDonnell said, “I am thankful that this dedicated group of leaders and experts has agreed to work on the important issue of keeping our schools safe. As a Commonwealth, we must evaluate safety in our schools and ensure that we are providing our young people with the best opportunity to learn. I am confident this group will develop thoughtful recommendations that will ensure a safe learning environment for our students.” On Monday, December 20, Governor McDonnell issued Executive Order 56 establishing a multidisciplinary task force to review school and campus safety in light of the horrific and senseless murders that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He has also established a separate mental health workgroup chaired by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel.
The task force will send initial recommendations no later than January 31, 2013. It will make additional recommendations on an ongoing basis and provide a final report on all aspects of the executive order to the governor no later than June 30, 2013, so that recommended actions can be implemented before the new school year begins. The Task Force will hold its first meeting on January 14th, at 1:00 PM, in the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond.
One representative invited to serve on this task force is Dr. Keith Perrigan, principal at Patrick Henry High School, Washington Division and the current President of VASSP. Dr. Perrigan has met frequently with committees and panels on behalf of VASSP since taking office in July, 2012. Dr. Perrigan was interviewed by WCYB TV5 on January 11 regarding his selection and participation on the Governor’s Task Force. It will air Friday at 6:00 and 11:00 on wcyb.com.
Congratulations Dr. Perrigan for being chosen for this important opportunity to serve the Commonwealth and we look forward to updates when possible from this task force.
If you would like to review Governor McDonnell’s original release regarding this task force, you may access it at: