EDMONDS — Hundreds of students walking out of their classes Wednesday weren’t the only ones in the Edmonds School District to call for tougher gun control laws.
The night before, the Edmonds School Board did so as well — in the form of a resolution. The unanimous vote occurred a month after a former student killed 17 people in Florida in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.
Among other things, the board urged lawmakers to raise the age to buy assault weapons from 18 to 21 and “reject(ed) the misguided suggestion, that it is either desirable or appropriate to arm teachers in schools.” A resolution represents the official expression of the opinion or will of a legislative body.
The board’s stance opposes ideas expressed by President Donald Trump and other elected officials to train and arm some schoolteachers.
At the recommendation of a group of district parents, the board added a line urging Gov. Jay Inslee to call a special session to enact “common sense” gun laws.
“I think the board was compelled to act because of the tense interest and passionate feelings in our community to make sure that we put out a statement regarding sensible gun laws as well as a very strong message that our community does not feel that teachers should be armed,” board President Ann McMurray said.
“This is an issue that people are talking about with their neighbors, in school board meetings, waiting to pick up their kids at the bus stop,” she added. “It is a question very much on people’s minds.”
In passing its resolution, Edmonds followed in the footsteps of school boards in Seattle and Olympia.
Carin Chase, another Edmonds School Board member, said it was important for the district to make its position known.
“I really do want the parents in the district to know we oppose efforts to arm educators in our schools,” she said. “There is no ambiguity about it.”
The resolution expressed support for March 24 March For Our Lives events in Washington, D.C., and across the country. It also seeks more in-depth background checks for assault weapons, backing for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to collect data on gun violence, more money for school counselors, nurses and psychologists and smaller class sizes at upper grade levels.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; firstname.lastname@example.org.