July 30, 2013

Ms. Janis Richter
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Rochelle, VA  22738

Dear Ms. Richter:

Thank you for contacting me about efforts to create safer schools. I appreciate hearing from you.

In April 2013, the Senate deliberated the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act (S. 649). This legislation would assist K-12 schools improve security in classrooms, by providing communities and schools with resources to install classroom locks and reinforced doors, to conduct security assessments, and to better coordinate efforts with local law enforcement. Additionally, this legislation would assist college campuses provide public safety training, develop threat assessments, and increase collaboration with law enforcement and mental health agencies.

As Governor of Virginia during the Virginia Tech shooting, I know from painful experience how important it is for schools to create a safe environment for students.  After the shooting at Virginia Tech I put in place requirements to ensure that all public colleges and universities in Virginia have an emergency plan in place.

On the sixth anniversary of the horrible shootings at Virginia Tech, I took to the Senate floor to remember the 32 Hokies who lost their lives. I was pleased to cast my vote on April 17, 2013 in support of S. 649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act legislation, which included tougher laws on gun trafficking and straw purchases, and ways to improve safety in schools.  I am disappointed a minority of the Senate chose to use the filibuster to block common-sense reforms. We are looking for an opportunity to raise the issue again.

While the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act has not yet passed the Senate, I am committed to supporting efforts that make our children safer from violence, in their schools, communities, and homes. Moving forward, I hope that you will continue to offer your input.

Thank you again for contacting me.


Tim Kaine