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Education Law

Virginia Tech May Appeal Federal Fine from 2007 Shootings

Posted Apr 15, 2011 12:57 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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Virginia Tech may appeal a $55,000 federal fine it received regarding the school’s response time to a 2007 mass shooting, which resulted in the death of 32 people, the Associated Press reports.

The four-year anniversary of the tragedy is April 16. It's been reported that the school waited almost two hours before warning students of an on-campus slaying that took place on the same day student Seung-Hui Cho later killed 30 more individuals on campus and himself. In March, the U.S. Department of Education gave the school the maximum fine. The agency’s investigation of Virginia Tech is the first significant review of the Clery Act’s timely warning requirement, says S. Daniel Carter, senior vice president of the nonprofit group Security on Campus.

The school maintains that it acted reasonably, based on existing rules about response length, and doesn’t deserve the fine it received.

"We were there, and given the information we had and the circumstances we faced, I believe we acted appropriately," President Charles Steger told The Associated Press. "Now does that mean we don't have great sadness in our heart or compassion for those families? Certainly not."

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