New weapons policy adopted with a 7-0 vote by Lindbergh

By Robert Chalupny

A new policy prohibiting firearms on school property, in vehicles parked on school property or at off-campus school-sponsored events recently was approved by the Lindbergh Board of Education.

The Board of Education voted unanimously last week to approve the policy that permits only authorized security personnel to carry weapons on district property or to district events.

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer recently issued an injunction blocking the state’s new concealed weapons law on constitutional grounds, but Board of Education members decided they wanted to take a proactive stance.

Assistant Superintendent of Special Services Vicki Oldani told the Call that the new policy was effective immediately and will continue to be in effect regardless of whether the new concealed-carry measure is upheld.

She told board members Oct. 14 that she believes the new policy is comprehensive.

“At this point, we would like you to look at this policy tonight and take action, if possible,” Oldani said. “As we know, this law has been stayed. So this may never go into effect, the concealed weapons law, but we are concerned about that.

“We wanted to be proactive and as you can see we have looked at a variety of policies and hopefully come up with the most comprehensive one possible to assure that we don’t have any type of weapon, including concealed firearms on campus.”

The new weapons policy states that “no person, except a law enforcement officer acting within the scope of duty, may possess a weapon while on school property for any purpose, including but not limited to, non-school activities that may occur on school property, except as explicitly provided herein.”

“For the purposes of this policy, the term ‘school property’ shall include any school building or grounds, athletic fields, parking lots, school vehicle, school bus, and or school activity or event, whether on or away from district premises.”

The new policy states that “persons who fail to comply with this policy will be re-quired to leave the premises and may be excluded from school property for such period as deemed appropriate by the superintendent of schools and/or the Board of Education.

“Failure to comply with this policy may also result in referral to law enforcement authorities,” the policy states.

Board President Larry McIntosh said be-cause of the importance of the issue, he agreed that the board should approve the new policy immediately.

“Based on discussion, the board has chosen to bypass the readings and go direct to a policy,” McIntosh said. “The readings were more for community input. We’re pretty confident as a board that community input is going to be consistent with our opinions. So therefore as a board we’d like to bypass that procedure.”

Superintendent Jim Sandfort said he was grateful that the board passed the new weapons policy policy.

“We are most appreciative that the board passed a policy that prohibits firearms,” Sandfort said. “It continues to let parents in our community know that safety is and remains a priority in the Lindbergh School District.”