School Board, City Council discuss safety measures

ACT SLP furthers gun reform conversations


Katie Hardie

City Council member Anne Mavity contributes her thoughts in the City Council discussion concerning gun violence and race on Oct. 29.

Dani Orloff and Noah Orloff

As sophomore Achieving Change Together president Gabriel Kaplan continues to promote gun violence prevention measures in the St. Louis Park community, he said it is a challenging task.

“In St. Louis Park we’re still working on that, and the City Council is still deciding what to do but it’s a little bit difficult as cities are only allowed to regulate the firing of guns and also the sale of guns so there isn’t that much wiggle room for the city to pass any laws or resolutions,” Kaplan said.

According to School Board vice chair Nancy Gores, the School Board and City Council had a joint meeting Oct. 29 where they spoke about altering the entrances to schools within the district for safety purposes.  

“We discussed what part of our facility plan is involving some upgrades to school safety that we have secure entrances,” Gores said. “We talked about the fact that some of the facilities upgrade has included enhancing some of the doors and on internal locks on doors were for classrooms.”

According to Kaplan, Achieving Change Together (ACT SLP) was invited by Mayor Jake Spano to attend the meeting.

“The mayor just reached out to us and wanted us to bring some people there to show support,” Kaplan said.

Gores said she appreciates the cooperation between the School Board and City Council.

“We have had a very good working relationship between the School Board and the city for years,” Gores said. “I think we are both very grateful for that. Part of what makes it kind of wonderful for St. Louis Park is our city borders and our school district borders are almost identical and so that enhances that ability to work together for the safety of our students.”

Sophomore Nicholas Perszyk said it saddens him that school safety conversations need to happen and feels it is necessary to implement preventative measures.

“It’s really scary that we have to worry about safety in our schools,” Perszyk said. “If we do have to worry about it, we should take measures to prevent something before it happens.”

Kaplan said he feels ACT SLP can provide insight when discussing school safety measure.

“ACT will definitely be involved if they reach out or want help with ideas or with garnering support within the community but firmest in the hands of the leaders in the community,” Kaplan said. “In St. Louis Park specifically, it is probably going to be more of the School Board and the City Council itself working out what each group wants to do.”

Perszyk said he believes the school district and the city still have more work to do to end gun violence.

“I think they should start doing something more,” Perszyk said. “I think it’s important that they are talking steps in order to help protect our students in case something does happen.”