Virginia Tech Fined $55K Over Shooting Rampage
Feds say officials did a poor job alerting campus to 2007 shooter
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2011 4:10 PM CDT
A file photo of the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho.   (AP Photo/Virginia State Police, File)
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(Newser) – The Education Department has fined Virginia Tech the maximum allowable amount—$55,000—over how it handled the 2007 shooting rampage that left 33 people dead, reports the Richmond Times Dispatch. Federal officials say the university didn't warn the campus quickly enough: The school learned that two students had been shot to death in a dorm about 7:30am, but it didn't send out an email alert for another two hours—about the time Seung-Hui Cho began shooting most of his victims in an academic building.

The school plans to appeal, asserting that its actions “were well within the standards and practices in effect at that time.” The feds made clear they would have fined the university even more if they could have, notes the Washington Post: “Virginia Tech’s violations warrant a fine far in excess of what is currently permissible under the statute,” wrote an Education Department official.