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Notifying Parents of School Lockdown Drills in Virginia

melinda shelton
creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bill under consideration by Virginia's General Assembly would require schools across the state to notify parents before holding lockdown drills.

Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg, D-Henrico, tells The Richmond Times-Dispatch that giving parents at least 24 hours' notice before the drills would allow them to have related discussions with their children.

Such drills have become common nationwide, especially after recent deadly school shootings. In some cases, the drills have led to panic like at last spring's unannounced drill at Short Pump Middle School in Henrico. The district changed how it conducted the drills after an evaluation.

VanValkenburg is a high school teacher. He says schools become "safest when everyone in the community is involved." His bill has been referred to the House Education Committee.

Don Rush is the News Director and Senior Producer of News and Public Affairs at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.