- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 29, 2007

RICHMOND — Some students injured or wounded in the Virginia Tech shootings have made significant progress but others face a long recovery, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said yesterday.

Mr. Kaine met privately at the state Capitol with about a half-dozen of the students injured in the April 16 shootings, as well as with about two dozen parents.

The governor, who met many of the injured in the days after the shootings, said the students and parents made “very heartfelt and compelling statements” about their needs and concerns.

Among the issues raised were the continuing costs of medical and psychological care, the status of an investigation and anxiety about sons and daughters returning to the Blacksburg campus.

“Some of these youngsters are going to have significant medical challenges in the future,” said Mr. Kaine, a Democrat.

In addition to the 32 students and faculty Tech senior Seung-hui Cho fatally shot before killing himself, 25 persons were injured. None of the students who attended the meeting appeared to have obvious physical injuries.

Andrew and Anne Goddard were among the parents who met with Mr. Kaine. Their son, Colin, was shot four times and still has shrapnel in his leg. He will complete his senior year at Tech, his mother said.

“My son’s carrying around metal in him that he’ll have for the rest of his life,” Mr. Goddard said.

He also suggested families of the injured have concerns perhaps more layered and lasting than those who lost someone in “one final act.”

Many parents also pressed Mr. Kaine on campus security and efforts to prevent a similar shooting in what Mr. Goddard called a violence-prone society.

“This is not the end of it,” he said. “There is going to be another Virginia Tech, unfortunately.”

Many parents and all of the students who were asked to discuss the meeting with Mr. Kaine refused comment.

The meeting took place about one month after Mr. Kaine met with relatives of those killed in the shootings. They were forceful in seeking a voice on a state panel investigating the shootings. The eight-member panel held its final meeting July 18 and is expected to release its recommendations in mid-August. The recommendations will likely address everything from campus-police procedures to Virginia’s mental-health system.

Some also criticized the allocation of more than $7 million in donations to a Virginia Tech fund for victims’ families.

Under a proposed disbursement, families of the 32 persons who were killed each could receive $150,000.

The most severely injured would be offered $75,000 and would have the option of a one-year scholarship at Tech with the rest in cash. Those hospitalized for a shorter period could receive $25,000, with the option of a one-year scholarship and the rest in cash. Those with less serious injuries could receive $8,000 or one year’s tuition at Tech.

The Virginia Tech review panel is scheduled to release its findings in mid-August.

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