The goings-on in Virginia have taken center stage as of late, first with this year’s NCAA Cinderella VCU but now on a decidedly less happy note with a reminder of one of the worst school shootings in history.
In 2007, a mentally-ill student went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech and took the lives of 32 students and teachers. Yesterday, just under four years after that horrific event, the federal government announced its plans to issue a $55,000 fine against the school for violations of a campus safety law. Despite one federal official calling for higher monetary repercussions for the school’s failure to provide timelier warnings under the Clery Act and two families of shooting victims suing university officials for not relaying crucial information about the first two killings, Virginia Tech is denying any wrongdoing and will appeal the action. “We believe that Virginia Tech administrators acted appropriately in their response to the tragic events of April 16, 2007, based on the best information then available to them at the time,” university spokesman Larry Hincker said in a statement. “As we noted before, neither the Department of Education nor the Clery Act defines ‘timely.’ The university actions on April 16 were well within the standards and practices in effect at that time.”