Panel will review security at Virginia Beach schools

Posted at 11:59 AM, Apr 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-10 17:33:32-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A panel will review safety and security at the city's schools, Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence announced Tuesday.

The panel will include police officers, military security experts from Naval Air Station Oceana, school representatives, and city staffers who specialize in youth mental health, Spence said.

"When you have an event like what happened in February in Florida, you have a lot of people who have a lot of ideas," Spence said. "All of those things may or may not have merit. That's why we want to bring some experts to the table."

Spence said the panel's mission will be broad: to identify what works now, to see if resources should be reallocated, and to find gaps. "It's an opportunity to evolve from here we are and in light of recent events to make sure we're doing everything we absolutely can," he said.

Many different options will be discussed, including possibly even arming teachers. "Is arming teachers a possibility? That's a question I think the panel will provide some feedback to the board on. That is not something we have considered as a real possibility here in Virginia Beach at this time," Spence said.

Following the school shooting in Florida in February, school leaders announced enhancements.

All front doors will be locked. Visitors will have to press a buzzer to enter schools, allowing staff the chance to inspect them before they enter.

The panel will begin meeting soon. Spence hopes the panel will make recommendations to the school board this summer. Board members will ultimately decide how to  move forward.