ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WAVY) — The mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas has raised concerns about safety in schools across the country.
In Isle of Wight County, leaders are proposing a new task force in order to figure out what they may need to do to enhance security.
There is no framework for the possible task force yet, as several Board of Supervisors members-only appeared eager about the idea following a discussion on school safety at their monthly work session on Thursday.
Several members of the county’s top lawmaking body said many parents are concerned about their kids.
County Administrator Randy Keaton explained that a School Resource Officer from the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office (SRO) is in each high school and middle school.
However currently, none are in any elementary schools.
“In the case we’ve seen out of Texas, they had an SRO, they just were not on campus at the time. That’s just the latest that I have heard,” Keaton said.
He said he would explore what it would take to fund adding more SRO’s if that is the direction the board wanted to take.
“I think at the elementary school level, you know you don’t have an SRO having to hopefully break up fights or investigate drug or alcohol issues or something like that. So I guess the question is, would they be more of a security guard sort of thing to prevent outside threats,” Keaton said.
Virginia law allows for school districts to hire retired law enforcement officers as School Security Officers (SSO). Several board members indicated they may want to explore moving in that direction.
Dr. Christopher Coleman, the incoming assistant superintendent for administration, finance and operations said he would always be open to talking more about school safety.
No word on when a task force may be formed.