Judge Backs Va. Tech Over Its 2007 Gunman Warning

Ann McClure's picture
Monday, April 2, 2012

Virginia Tech received a measure of vindication for its handling of a 2007 campus massacre that left 32 people dead - plus the shooter - when a judge ruled that federal education officials were wrong to conclude the university's response to the tragedy violated federal law.

In a decision that became available Friday, Administrative Judge Ernest Canellos dismissed a $55,000 fine against the Blacksburg school and determined that university officials' actions on April 16, 2007, didn't violate the Clery Act, which requires schools to issue timely warnings of campus threats.

Virginia Tech officials said they were satisfied with the removal of the fine. But university spokesman Larry Hincker said sadness remains about the slayings by student Seung-Hui Cho, the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

"There are no winners and losers," Hincker said Friday. "This is about providing some rational interpretation of what many in higher education thought were some ambiguous guidelines by the U.S. Department of Education."

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