Increased school security measures to be considered by Virginia lawmakers

Legislators will head back to Richmond in the new year

A new push for improved school security is in place following nationwide threats.

ROANOKE, Va – With less than a month until lawmakers return to the Capitol, school safety is at top of mind for newly-elected Delegate Tim Anderson.

“It’s not ‘if’ the next school shooting happens, it’s really ‘when’ the next school shooting is going to happen,” Anderson said.

Anderson is part of the newly-elected Republican majority in the House of Delegates. He introduced several bills to increase security measures in Virginia public schools.

“We have a moment right now to do something before something happens,” Anderson said.

The different bills would require students to be subject to metal detectors.

They would also allow active service veterans to apply to be school security officers.

Anderson hopes it’s something his colleagues from both sides of the aisle can agree on.

“What I’m proposing is exactly what we do in courts. It’s exactly what we do. In the General Assembly, if you try to come up to visit me in the Capitol, you’re going to have to go through the same screening and so all I’m saying is, I think children should get the same security that judges can get,” Anderson said.

But 10 News political analyst Dr. Ed Lynch says legislators could face unique challenges in Richmond this year.

“With the Democrats still technically in control of the state Senate they control the committee chairs, the committee chairs can, in Richmond, keep things bottled up very very easily, very effectively, and very anonymously,” Lynch said.

Anderson hopes lawmakers can put aside their differences and make their time in Richmond meaningful for Virginians.

“There needs to be some urgency of when we go up, that we’re going to actually materially do something to better our communities,” Anderson said.

The General Assembly session is set to begin on January 12, 2022.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.