HENRICO (WRIC) - As part of Virginia School and Campus Safety Week Governor Bob McDonnell is charging students to speak out to protect their schools.
It was nearly a year ago when 26 students and teachers were killed in Newtown, Connecticut.
In the year since, a statewide task force has identified numerous safety improvements to better protect and prevent violence.
70 percent of schools now have a mental health official on campus and almost all have lockdown drills.
Godwin High School is a good example of school safety and security. Cameras line nearly every inch of the building and security officers constantly monitor them and the hallways.
"This is pretty much where we can zero in on any incident throughout the school," says Safety Security Officer Les Branich.
McDonnell is calling on students to make the same efforts by being a good friend to everyone and speaking out when they have an idea.
As a member of the task force, student Alexa Rennie strongly felt lockdowns drills should be practiced earlier in the year-- now it's required.
"Go out and talk to someone. One voice can make a difference and if nothing comes of it at least you tried."
Godwin senior Andrew O'Sullivan believes messages like these could save lives.
"I believe it teaches you just, how to be aware and safe all the time, not just in school but in the public."
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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