The school board in the suburb of Highland Park called a special meeting on Thursday to consider proposals for improved safety, with students days away from returning to class.
Highland Park has been under the microscope since the 4th of July, when a gunman killed seven people and injured dozens more during the town’s 4th of July parade.
On Thursday evening, parents spoke out passionately in favor of security policy reforms in the wake of the shooting.
“If something were to happen in the foreseeable future and we didn’t do anything, we would have to live with those regrets,” parent Tom Wachtel told the council.
The meeting was part of a reassessment of North Shore School District 112 safety policies, with officials gathering public feedback and suggestions from parents while seeking expert advice ahead of the new school year.
“We take all ideas very seriously and all suggestions are being considered,” the superintendent said. says Michael Lubelfeld. “We’re also working with a national security expert, and we’re managing those ideas through that group as well.”
Ashbey Beasley echoed the concerns of many parents who spoke at the meeting, saying her 6-year-old son hadn’t been the same since the horrific shooting.
“After our town experienced a mass shooting and my son and I survived, I just knew this year we had to do something,” she said.
Beasley wrote a proposal for the council, calling for a ban on visitors bringing bags into the school.
“If you take away bags, you take away a lot of the threat, a lot of the worry,” she said.
The school board took public comment on Thursday evening and then resumed the meeting behind closed doors, promising to keep parents’ fears and suggestions in mind as they chart their course.
Parents appreciated the opportunity to provide input and hope they will continue to participate in the discussion.
“We need to be informed and kept up to date,” said Carlos Perez. ” Its very important for us. You are the administrators, but it is the lives of our children that will be in your hands.