Va. House speaker looks to boost school security, in a year, without wading into gun debate

Amid pressure to respond to last month’s school massacre in Florida, the Republican leader of Virginia’s House announced on Thursday the creation of a special committee that will focus on beefing up K-12 security but steer clear of gun issues.

Speaker M. Kirkland Cox (Colonial Heights) will appoint a select committee that will look for ways to make schools harder targets, including physical improvements such as bulletproof windows. Its mission would be to create a package of bills for the 2019 General Assembly session.

The approach might help Cox sidestep the most emotionally charged topics — restricting guns and arming teachers — that have been thrust into the spotlight since a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

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