Kids do a lot of stupid things, as anyone who ever was a kid can attest in their moments of adult honesty. That makes the job of school principals and superintendents harder than it's ever been, especially when you have to figure out what's a serious threat and what's a kid being stupid.
That task fell to Vern Koepp, the superintendent at Rush City High School, when a young man started making threats in class yesterday.
A letter posted on the school's website tells the story...
On Monday a High School student made some very inappropriate threatening comments in a classroom setting. Administration asked the Chisago County Sheriff's Department to assist with the investigation. The Sheriff's department concluded that no credible threat to student or staff safety existed, but the student was still removed from school.
Because investigations by school administration and the Sheriff's department both concluded that a threat to student safety did not exist, we did not inform parents immediately.
After school, dramatized stories began to circulate via social media. We asked the Sheriff's department to investigate these stories and again they concluded that there was no threat to student or staff safety.
Due to the Connecticut tragedy and the incident in the High Schol on Monday it is understandable that community members are apprehensive about the safety of its students. Student and staff safety is our first priority, we take these matters very seriously, we work through safety concerns carefully, and we are confident our schools are safe.
We have emergency procedures in place for both schools and we practice lockdowns at least 5 times each year. In light of these recent incidents we have decided to take additional measures to reassure our community that our schools are safe.
A Chisago County deputy was present in the High School this morning and the department plans an increased presence in the community. All exterior doors, including the main entrance, of both schools will remain locked during school hours the remainder of this week. An adult will be present to allow people to enter the building.
Rush City Schools does not currently have a rapid response mass communication system. Please check this web site for updates.
We understand that student safety evokes strong emotions and we appreciate your understanding as we work through these challenging issues. Please contact principals or me with questions.
Vern Koepp, Superintendent
In hindsight, a lot of things seem obvious. But the situation above is also the toughest job of being a parent: trying to determine what's a kid being a kid and what's something more serious.
Okay, we have this snippet from MPR news - "Instead of tightening gun ownership rules, some members of Congress and state Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, have advocated allowing teachers to bring weapons to schools in order to speed up the response to potential future shootings."
If the classroom teacher is carrying a loaded gun and the student is less than rational, the chances of a tragic outcome are greatly enhanced.