MPS board passes gun control resolution

The Minneapolis Public School Board passed a resolution that supports school safety and gun control legislation at its monthly board meeting Tuesday night. It stated the board’s support of a ban on the sale of assault weapons and extended magazines, an increase in criminal background checks, and extension of the gun-free zone around schools.

MPS board meeting Tuesday night (Keith Schubert/MSR News)

The resolution also calls for more federal funding for mental health, school building safety measures, and stated the MPS’ position against arming teachers.

“I’m glad that they passed the resolution,” Graham Kirwin, a sophomore at Patrick Henry High School, told the MSR. “I hope that the state legislatures will pay attention and make some changes,” he added.

The resolution comes weeks after the shooting of 15 students and two adults who were killed with an AR-15 assault rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The MPS Board stated in the resolution that it stands with Broward County, where Parkland is located.

The principal of Patrick Henry High School, Yusuf Abdullah, told the MSR he does not support arming teachers. “If we’re going to arm them, arm them with the ability to connect,” he said.

Fiona Rose Kelly, a senior at South High School, said she supported the passing of the resolution but said it doesn’t do enough to address the root of the problem — guns. “I just want to get rid of guns completely,” Kelly explained. Both Kelly and Abdullah stressed the important role relationship and community-building play in ensuring school safety.

“We want safe schools that work for everyone,” said Gabe Chang, a freshman at South High School, during the time allotted at the beginning of the meeting for public comments.

MPS is a part of the Council of the Great City Schools that drafted the bill, which MPS passed as written. Council Chair Darienne Driver said in a press release, “Our nation’s urban schools have heard the cries of our students for tougher gun legislation and their pleas for stronger mental health support.”

The passing of the resolution comes a day before #ENOUGH National School Walkout, a nation-wide initiative to mark the one-month anniversary of the Parkland, Florida shooting. The effort called on students and school faculty to walk out of schools on Wednesday morning at 10 am for 17 minutes — one minute for each of the 17 victims in the Parkland shooting.

The same night the board passed the resolution, they also agreed to meet with a student committee that is exploring alternative uses of school resource officers in schools (SROs). “There was an SRO in Parkland and he didn’t do anything,” noted Kelly as she spoke directly to the board during public comments. “Anytime there are guns in schools, we feel unsafe,” she added.

 

Keith Schubert welcomes reader responses to kschubert@spokesman-recorder.com.

 

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