Dexter’s School Board Comments On Pending Gun Bill

Last week a Bill that would allow guns to be carried in schools was fast-tracked through a Michigan Senate Committee one day after the deadly church shooting in Texas.

The Michigan Senate approved Bill No. 584 passing it onto the State House where it is currently being discussed. If passed, the Bill would then go to Gov. Snyder for approval. Gov. Snyder vetoed a similar bill in 2012 after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

We Love Dexter asked Dexter Schools Superintendent, Dr. Chris Timmis, and Board of Education President, Michael Wendorf, for their thoughts on the controversial bill. Here’s what they had to say:

Superintendent Timmis told us,

“Schools can ban cell phones, chewing gum, and yoga pants, but won’t be able to ban guns…I’m not sure what happened to local control in the conversation.”

Dr. Timmis then went on to explain the difficult position this would create for school administration as they would sift out the priorities of compliance to the new law with students safety and education.

“If this passes, schools will have two options – either ban guns from our staff to carry so then only non-employees can carry in the school or send every administrator and teacher to earn a license to carry at school….it redefines providing a nurturing environment when teachers/administrators are packing and professional development is held at the gun range instead of perfecting instruction.”

School Board President Michael Wendorf shared his thoughts,

“The Dexter Community Schools Board of Education has neither discussed Senate Bills 584-586 nor adopted any policy or policies related to this proposed legislation.  As a result, the Board has no current position regarding this proposed legislation. “

“However, members of the Board are aware of the proposed legislation and its many serious implications.  In Michigan, local control of schools and school policies have a long tradition.  Local Boards of Education have always been trusted to decide and implement policies extending even to such things as cell phone usage in our schools and behavior on school property.

“Our Board takes these responsibilities and our policies very seriously.  The safety of our students, staff and community are always our first priority.  The now pending legislation involving the ability of individuals holding a CPL with endorsement to carry a firearm into no carry zones such as our schools and day care centers would limit our (and all other boards of education within Michigan) ability to create policies stricter than federal or state law thereby effectively removing local control of this issue.  

“As a result, while we could continue to adopt policies on many student and visitor activities, our Board would not be able to adopt a policy limiting the right of individuals holding a CPL with endorsement to enter of schools or our fields of play.  Our Board and District will continue to monitor this and other pending legislation that could potentially limit our ability to exercise local control and/or impact the safety of our students, staff and community.”

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