New VB School Board chair says school safety and security remain top priority

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The new leader of the Virginia Beach School Board clarified Wednesday her statements made after a board meeting Tuesday night.

She told 10 On Your Side while she is committed to school safety, she is “not open to discussing arming teachers right now.”

Tuesday night, board member Carolyn Rye (Lynnhaven District) was chosen by her colleagues to chair the 11-person board for the next year. Rye, who was first elected to the school board in 2014, replaces Beverly Anderson, who had been the chair the previous three years.

Her first meeting included an unsolicited pitch from local attorney Tim Anderson. He is calling for each school’s already existing crisis response team to receive firearm training.

While arming teachers has been a hot-button issue, following the meeting, Rye told 10 On Your Side that she would not stop any discussion on school safety, but on Wednesday, she made it clear that in her role, she is not interested currently in discussing arming teachers.

“We are sitting ducks right now if an active shooter comes into a campus in Virginia Beach,” Anderson told board members.

He wants staff members that volunteer for the program to be able to act in the face of danger.

“We’ve approved a plan, and it’s a long-range plan, and we’re due soon for another workshop, and I envision that (will be) a perfect opportunity to bring in this new information as well as updates from our own staff on the plan initiatives that have been implemented since the last workshop,” Rye said.

In 2018, the blue-ribbon panel made up of school and city personnel, police officers and Navy officials found the school had room for safety improvements.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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