Governor Kaine responds to request to reconvene Virginia Tech panel

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Governor Tim Kaine is responding to requests to reconvene the Virginia Tech panel. Kaine there are challenges in bringing back the panel because it was made up of volunteers.

Monday, his office relayed that message in a letter to family members of victims of the Tech tragedy. The Governor's Office says Kaine understands the concerns raised and he's going to keep the promise he made to the families last fall to make sure the truth is found.

The Governor's Office released the letter on the same day he convened his Conference on Campus Preparedness at V.C.U. The annual gathering was created after the Tech massacre. Two years later, the Commonwealth is still learing lessons and making changes.

Kaine says, "The report made a whole series of recommendations for colleges, for the state, for the mental health agencies. And we're continuing to monitor those recommendations to make sure that we're actually doing things to try to make Virginia safer."

The Governor says while the Commonwealth continues to examine the tragedy, he cannot compel the volunteer panel to continue its work and reopen wounds that haven't yet healed.
His office writes to the Tech families: "While we would not rule out inviting willing members of the panel to review proposed revisions to the report, we are sensitive that there are families who expressly do not want to reconvene…"

For now, Kaine is focusing on his promise of a clear account of what happened that day. No matter what new information may surface, such as Seung Hui Cho's mental health files, the Governor praises the volunteers and consulting firm working to make sure the record is complete.

He says, "The fact that a document may have come to light a year or two later that would suggest a document needs to be written a different way, is no indictment of their work."

Kaine hopes the process in place will produce a thorough report, while not upsetting the Tech families. He wants the company contracted on the original report to have those suggestions or corrections by August 19th.

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