Richmond, VA – Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Charniele Herring released the following statement today responding to increasing rhetoric from Governor Bob McDonnell, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Virginia Republicans suggesting arming Virginia teachers to keep schools safe:
“As we continue to reflect on the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and mourn the losses of the children and teachers who died in that senseless event, it is critical that we consider whether we are doing enough to keep our schools, students and teachers safe.
“This week Governor Bob McDonnell, Attorney Ken Cuccinelli and several Virginia legislators including Delegate Bob Marshall and Senator Dick Black have suggested training and arming Virginia teachers in response to this latest tragedy. That is the wrong approach.
“The role of Virginia teachers is to teach. The role of keeping our communities, including our schools, safe belongs to dedicated and hard working police officers and public safety officials across the Commonwealth who have been trained to respond to emergency situations.
“It is critical for elected leaders to do everything in our power to keep those we serve safe – that means acting in the best interest of our communities, not out of a particular political agenda. Virginians deserve a measured and mainstream plan to keep schools safe, not a rash response that blindly puts more guns in our schools, especially without working with our public safety professionals to ensure effective programs are implemented and funded.”