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District 87 school board considers gun safety storage campaign

District 87 sign outside Bloomington Junior High School.
Eric Stock
The District 87 school board will vote on a resolution Wednesday to join the national Be Smart gun safety campaign.

Bloomington public schools want to remind parents about safe and secure gun storage.

The District 87 school board will vote on a resolution Wednesday night to join the national Be Smart gun safety campaign.

Superintendent David Mouser said the campaign is not about gun control.

“A lot of the issues involving young people and accidental shootings happen from guns that are stored inside people’s homes that are stored improperly,” Mouser said.

Pending school board approval, the district plans to send letters to parents and guardians informing them about their legal obligations to safety secure firearms. That information also would be included in student handbooks.

Mouser said the district’s director of safety and security, Rich Hirsch, proposed the resolution as a way to proactively promote gun safety. Mouser thinks it's a good idea, especially in light of the latest mass shooting at a Texas school last spring.

“I think Uvalde certainly once again showed the need to be able to do everything we can to be proactive about school safety," said Mouser, referring to last spring's shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 21 students and teachers were killed.

Hirsch will provide a gun storage presentation to the school board during Wednesday's meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m. at the district office, 300 E. Monroe St., Bloomington.

A Bloomington High School student brought a loaded gunto school last year and was later sentenced to juvenile prison.

Annual budget

The school board also is set to vote Wednesday on a $86.2 million budget proposal for the 2022-23 school year. The spending plan includes a projected structural deficit of nearly $3.4 million.

Mouser said he expects the deficit will end up being much lower or erased entirely by the end of the year, based on conservative budgeting, so he does not anticipate the need to reduce staff or raise taxes.

“I don’t see any need to make drastic changes. I feel like we are in a good situation financially,” Mouser said.

The district’s chief financial and facilities officer, Mike Cornale, presented the budget to the board in August.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled prior to the vote. The district is scheduled to set the 2023 tax levy in December.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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