VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Sixteen new school safety laws will go into effect during the 2013-2014 school year in Virginia.
Governor Bob McDonnell signed the safety measures into law earlier this year. They require every public school to have two lock-down drills twice a year, hold walk-through inspections to check locks, lighting, and doors, and have teachers and staff trained to spot red flags in students.
10 On Your Side spoke with the director of safety in Hampton Roads' largest school district -- Virginia Beach -- to see how the laws might affect you. Richard Ponti said the mandates won't change much because schools are, for the most part, already abiding by them.
He did say what they really need is parents and students to look, listen and report anything that could be a threat.
"You'll hear people talk about metal detectors and security cameras, yeah, we have security cameras, but what will really keep us safe is relationships, the relationships we have with students with parents and the great relationship we have with the police department," Ponti said.
Ponti said VB schools' relationship with police is also a big part of their security program, and this year Virginia Beach police are adopting schools. That means patrol officers will be popping in periodically to check on things.
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A Facebook post helped Elizabeth City Police identify and locate the suspect of a hit-and-run incident involving a 3-year-old this week.
As Newport News Fire Chief Scott Liebold plans to retire at the end of this month, the city is looking for his replacement -- and they want your help.