Feds: VA Tech Didn’t Warn Campus Soon Enough Before Massacre


Virginia Tech broke federal campus security laws by waiting too long to notify students before the shooting rampage in which 33 people were killed, including the student gunman, says a federal report quoted by the Associated Press. The university disputed the finding, saying its officials met standards in effect at the time of the April 16, 2007, shootings and that the U.S. Department of Education’s report is colored by “hindsight bias.”

The school could be fined unless the department revises its findings. Virginia Tech has been criticized for not notifying the campus of the shootings sooner. The Department of Education said Tech violated the Clery Act’s requirement of a timely warning. About an hour and 20 minutes elapsed between the shootings of two students at a dormitory and an e-mail alert to the campus about a possible danger. The e-mail was sent at 9:26 a.m. The massacre began at 9:40 a.m. when a mentally ill student, Seung-Hui Cho, chained the doors and shot 30 more people to death before committing suicide. The Department of Education said the warnings “were not prepared or disseminated in a manner to give clear and timely notice of the threat to the health and safety of campus community members.”

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