School Board reaffirms safety commitments

The resolution reaffirms commitment to preserving school safety and preventing gun violence.

The Mercer Island School Board unanimously approved at its March 22 meeting a resolution reaffirming its commitment to preserving school safety and preventing gun violence.

“The Board realizes the responsibility for preventing gun violence cannot be relegated to school districts alone,” the resolution read. “We are aware that there is a complex interaction of risk factors, warning signs, barriers, and mental states that leads to violence, but we believe that the health and safety of our students and employees is our highest priority and that they will thrive in a vibrant, healthful, safe, enriching, and respectful environment.”

The resolution calls on Congress and the Legislature to prioritize the protection of students and local government employees by passing legislation that more effectively regulates access to firearms in the interest of public safety; funds public health research on firearms-related issues; advances mental health support; and classifies and funds social/emotional learning as basic education.

The Board pledged to support efforts to reduce violence in schools and communities that include strategies for eliminating inappropriate youth access to firearms, and strategies to keep guns out of the hands of those who would harm students; and continue to enforce policies that ensure that the only armed persons at schools are licensed law enforcement personnel.

The Board will advocate that Mercer Island City Council enact legislation that will provide dedicated long-term funding to sustain the full-time Mercer Island Youth and Family Services mental health counselors in each of the District’s schools.