Gun safety advocates breathed easier Wednesday after Community Consolidated School District 15 pauses a plan to place armed, retired police officers in Palatine schools.
At least two dozen gun safety supporters attended Dist. 15's school board meeting Wednesday night, including Moms Demand Action. At the beginning of the meeting, outgoing Superintendent Scott B. Thompson announced that the issue was being put "on hold."
Before an attentive audience of at least 50 people, about ten speakers urged the board to seek other solutions to gun violence in schools, including forming a community safety task force as well as developing support for people with mental health issues. Speakers also poked holes in the proposal, pointing out liability and insurance issues. The crowd also listened politely but silently to the last speaker, who spoke in favor of the plan.
District 15 is the second largest elementary district in the state. Dr. Thompson is retiring at the end of June; Dr. Laurie Heinz, who has been named his successor, was also in attendance.
The show of community opposition to the armed guard proposal both on social media and at the meeting succeeded in delaying the plan, but there was no word on whether and when the board would take up the issue again. Still, "we made a difference here," said Joyce Slavik of Moms Demand Action. Rise up and speak out!