A resolution proposed by Mercer County School District 404 recently caught District 203’s attention.
It supports the option for faculty and staff to be active and armed in schools. That’s if they have gone through background checks, have a current Illinois concealed carry license, and completed approved training courses.
“I do not favor this for various reasons. My father was a police officer and I know a little bit about what it takes to be a police officer and the training that goes with it. There’s a psychology that goes with it,” explained board member Terry Fielden. “I think the state needs to step up and just provide what’s necessary to protect the students and the boards should be pushing for that. I am sympathetic toward the districts down there that don’t have access to local law enforcement on an as-needed basis; I think we need to recognize that. But at the same time it would not work here.”
The resolution was one of a few proposed to the Illinois Association Of School Board’s 2018 Resolutions Committee about school safety and protection plans. Those resolutions were widely supported by school districts from down state Illinois, as they lack funding for Student Resource Officers.
That’s not that case for District 203, as they utilize SROs in their schools.
Board members asked to get feedback from Naperville law enforcement on the resolution before their next meeting. And Board President Kristen Fitzgerald noted how this reflects the priorities of IASB.
“In addition to that question about whether or not this is something that our district would want or not want, we also want to determine whether or not we want to see IASB even promoting that as a priority for the organization with all the various things they have to impact education,” said Fitzgerald.
After district administrators review the full committee report, they will come to the board at their next meeting on October 15 with a recommendation either in support or in opposition of the resolution.
IASB will also review all of the proposed new resolutions before approving or denying them at the annual delegate assembly in November.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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