RICHMOND – Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox announced March 8 the formation of the House Select Committee on School Safety to make recommendations for consideration by the General Assembly during the 2019 Session.
This is the first select committee formed in the House in 155 years. Select committees are reserved for matters of considerable significance that cross the jurisdiction of conventional and established standing committees.
“The House of Delegates led the effort in recent years to make our schools safer, but the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, shows us that we must be ever-vigilant when it comes to school safety. We are taking a bold and significant step …. to make school safety a top priority of the House of Delegates,” said Cox, R-Colonial Heights.
In his letter to the House clerk, Cox specifically limited the committee’s scope of work to strengthening emergency preparedness, hardening school security infrastructure, implementing security best practices, deploying additional security personnel, providing additional behavioral health resources for students, and developing prevention protocols at primary and secondary institutions across the Commonwealth.
The committee will not discuss issues related to guns or broader behavioral health policy that are being considered by other commissions or standing committees. The committee also will not consider security at institutions of higher education, many of which already have rigorous security requirements and are governed by national accrediting agencies that set guidelines for their security.
The committee will complete its work by Nov. 15 and produce a final report containing recommendations no later than Dec. 15.