General Assembly already thinking about school safety before upcoming session

HARRISONBURG, VA. (WHSV) — As the 2019 session of the General Assembly approaches, lawmakers already have their eyes on a topic that affects your children: school safety.

Delegate Landes visited Turner Ashby High School last May to discuss school safety. Here, he talks with Rockingham County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Oskar Scheikl.

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox released 24 priority recommendations regarding school safety to be presented to the General Assembly.

Delegate Steve Landes (R -Verona), who is on the school safety subcommittee, said the General Assembly will have to keep all of its school systems in mind because a solution for one school may not work for another.

"We've got 133 school systems and they're all different," Delegate Landes said. "So we've got to make sure we don't do one-size-fits-all from the standpoint of the recommendations."

Delegate Landes also said the General Assembly will have to prioritize some of the recommendations over other ones and take the budget into account. He gave an example that involves the recommendation of realigning roles and responsibilities of school counselors to emphasize direct student services, including emotional and behavioral guidance.

"Trying to do something so that school counselors can spend more time actually counseling students," Delegate Landes said. "Well, that means we've got to come up with some resources for test coordinators or the like to take that responsibility from them or lessen that so they can spend more time dealing with bullying and mental, behavioral health issues for students."

To see a full list of the recommendations, you can