On January 18, by a unanimous vote of 8-0, the House Education Committee’s K-12 Subcommittee voted to table HB 12 (Anderson). This bill would have required each local school board to limit entry points into school buildings to the lowest feasible numbers, required each individual entering said buildings to be screened with a handheld metal detector by a school security officer or another member of school staff trained to do so, and prohibit entry into the building of any individual who failed to submit to screening or was believed by the screener to be in possession of a weapon. Without remarking on the policy intent of the legislation, VACo staff shared concerns with the subcommittee about the potential fiscal impact to local governments, particularly of acquiring and maintaining the screening technology as well as hiring, reassignment, and/or training of school personnel. The subcommittee also agreed to send a letter to the Virginia Board of Education asking the Board to look into the issue of security screenings further.
VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett