Osseo Board Chair Offers School Safety Proposal
The chair of the Osseo School Board addressed gun control and school security offering his own personal solution during Tuesday night’s board meeting.
Chair Robert Gerhart gave an unexpected six-minute statement following a district presentation on school security and emergency preparedness. The district presentation had already been on the agenda and wasn’t in response to the Feb. 14 mass school shooting in Florida.
In his personal statement, Gerhart challenged the district and the community to have an open and honest discussion about security for students.
“I for one am sick and tired of all the talk that happens after each one of these events and the same lack of tangible action that follows,” said Gerhart.
The board chair offered up his own solution, saying it’s something he’s been formulating over the last three years. Gerhart’s stance included having a certain number of approved volunteers, such as staff members who already have a gun permit, to play a role in school security.
“State and federal laws are already in place, also provide a relatively simple but also completely unused way for school administrators to pick and choose which registered permit holders, a subset of the people who are already screened with all these other steps, who can be allowed to simply extend the protection they choose for themselves to the students around them. The method is simple, but goes unused for fear of political or public relations blowback,” said Gerhart during the statement.
Gerhart’s stance runs contrary to current district policy regarding guns on school premises.
Superintendent Kate Maguire released her own statement Wednesday following Gerhart’s statement Tuesday night. She wrote the following to CCX News:
The school board chair’s public comments about guns on school property do not reflect my perspective or the official stance of the school district.
The school district’s official stance regarding guns on school premises is contained in Policy 926-Conceal & Carry on School Premises and in Policy 452 Conceal & Carry Restrictions for Employees. At the start of his comments on February 20, Chair Gerhart clearly stated that he had not spoken in advance with anyone about his statements and that his comments represented only his personal perspective. I would also note that the school board policy committee is not considering any changes to this policy at this time.