AAPS statement on weapons in our schools

At the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education Governance meeting on Monday, March 16, the Trustees who serve on the Governance committee confirmed the clear message stated by the Board of Education at last Wednesday’s meeting – they do not want guns on our school campuses.

To ensure the safety and well being of our students, staff, and visitors, the Governance committee is drafting and presenting to the Board for consideration at the next Regular Board Meeting a policy that may result in the declaration of all AAPS properties as Weapon Free Zones.

The Board believes that the presence of weapons at school creates a disruption to ensuring a supportive, productive and positive educational environment for our students, staff, parents and visitors during the school day and at all school sponsored events and activities.

Michigan law authorizes school districts to exercise considerable power to ensure proper operation of their schools according to the Revised School Code. In order to educate students, the primary mission of a public school, the safety and welfare of students while at school or a sponsored activity, is paramount.

The Ann Arbor Public Schools has experienced disruptions for students, staff, and other participants when individuals open carry on district property, and as a result, AAPS will not allow weapons on district property, at events on campus or any school sponsored activities.

Public School Districts may restrict the exercise of certain constitutional rights, so long as those restrictions are reasonably related to legitimate educational concerns such as causing disruption to the educational campus, activity or event.

This policy will exclude the presence of official law enforcement on any AAPS property.

Please, lets keep the focus on our students.

The AAPS District News welcomes thoughtful comments, questions and feedback.

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  1. As a parent of an Ann Arbor Public School student, I want to thank the Board and Superintendent Swift for taking such quick and decisive steps in this manner. I’m of the opinion that your actions are exactly in line with what almost all AAPS parents, students and staff desire for OUR schools. So, THANK YOU!

  2. Well done. It is a sad state of affairs that it should even be necessary for the board to have to create such a policy, but I applaud them for doing so.

  3. This is a hot topic that unfortunately ties into the Constitution, however that been said, there are enough dangers and/or risks that present in our society, without introducing another. I say – Keep guns out of our AAPS system. Well handled by the Dr. Swift and the AAPS Team.

  4. Open carry sounds like the issue. If the pistol was concealed there wouldn’t be a freak out.

  5. I want my children to be safe !! Do gun free zones stop mass shootings ? NO.
    You’re just wasting our tax money on Lock downs if you call the police on a parent with a holstered gun. Holstered guns don’t accidentally discharge.
    Not sure how to stop another Sandy Hook or Columbine, but stopping lawfully armed parents from being on school property doesn’t seem to be the answer.

  6. Excellent! We will probably see blow-back on this, but I am proud of the Board members for having the courage to do what is obviously the right thing. And yes, it is obvious. All of the macho good-guys-vs-bad-guys nonsense in the world will not change what common sense tells us: Guns in schools increase the danger to our children and interfere with the learning environment.
    Gun lovers, PLEASE love your guns somewhere else.

  7. Fully support the decision!
    Thanks to make it clear that weapon is not acceptable in the school.

  8. Thank you for being concerned about the safety of our children even though not everyone will agree.

  9. NO guns! Thank you for ensuring the safety of our students, teachers, staff and parents.

  10. Thank you. As a teacher in Ann Arbor Public Schools I appreciate the stand that the board has taken.

  11. Thank you for taking decisive and rapid action on this. I support this policy 100%.

  12. Great work! I am thankful for the leadership of the Board and the AAPS Administration for their unequivocal, balanced and thoughtful response. Thank you…

  13. I have three children at AAPS, I truley believe that this action is the right thing to do. I am so very pleased with this action. Thank You from a very concerned parent.

  14. Thank you for an intelligent response to an
    incredibly politically motivated situation.
    In my opinion, Our state has taken a severe turn in a dangerous direction over the past 5-6 years.
    Education has been negatively impacted,
    while agendas pushing guns & far right beliefs have flourished.
    Our kids need sensible protection as you are
    Thank you for your dedication to student (& community) safety.

  15. I don’t have a strong opinion on this one way or the other, but from a legal perspective, AAPS can say or do whatever they want, but it appears it is still legal for someone with a CPL to open carry (not concealed carry) in a Michigan school, even if that school is a “Weapon Free School Zone.” MCL 750.237a makes it a 93-day misdemeanor to possess a weapon at schools, which are designated as weapon-free zones. However, the law does not apply to security personnel hired by the district, peace officers, those with permission from the school’s administration or PEOPLE WITH A CPL. (emphasis added)

    If there is a determined gun owner who wants to open carry at school events, the school hasn’t solved anything by making this change.

    This seems so characteristic of modern crisis management. Step 1. omg crisis. Step 2. do something that doesn’t really solve the problem. Step 3. sit back and enjoy the unintended consequences of step 2.

  16. “Public School Districts may restrict the exercise of certain constitutional rights, so long as those restrictions are reasonably related to legitimate educational concerns such as causing disruption to the educational campus, activity or event.” Really? HMMM I smell a bunch of lawsuits because of a knee jerk reaction to someone following the law.

    Especially because of who is causing the disruption. You cant start a riot then get mad because there is a riot. Maybe there would not be such a disruption if we actually took the time to TEACH our kids and other adults about FIREARMS. Seems the disruption comes from paranoid parents like the one that said they would call 911 every time they saw a gun.

    To the other poster, remember the school that had a zero tolerance on “weapons” and suspended a kid for pointing his finger making it look like a gun…yup that is going to happen here. In your example with the exacto knife, that kid will probably get kicked out of school because of this policy.

    The biggest complaint is that criminals will not abide by this law anyway. Its the equivalent of a “NO DUMPING” sign in a lot where people are dumping trash. Your sign says “WEAPON FREE ZONE”, and they see “HEY NONE OF THESE PARENTS OR TEACHERS CAN DO ANYTHING TO STOP YOU IF YOU COME IN HERE WITH A GUN”

    I am sorry, but this is a step in the WRONG direction. As a parent, if I chose to get the training to protect my kids, I should be able to protect them. You should not tell me that I cant, nor should you make it impossible for me to do so.

  17. I fully support this decision. When I moved to Ann Arbor 25 years ago, there was a regulation in place where people had to explain why they wanted a gun. I remember the example was used that one fellow said he couldn’t stand the noise of his neighbor’s lawn mower and guess what? That man was NOT issued a gun. But the rules changes right afterward and now almost ANYONE can have a gun–the background checks are not always enforced, especially at gun shows. Given how easy it is to get a gun, and the lack of justification for carrying one onto school property, I am hard pressed to imagine any argument with this decision. Great job!

  18. As a parent of children in the Ann Arbor Public Schools system I support your efforts. A heartfelt thank you for addressing this issue!

  19. Thank you! I fully support this decision. The chances that a random stranger would protect my children by carrying a gun in the school grounds are much lower than the chances that stranger would cause harm with that gun.

  20. thank you so much for taking action to lessen the experience of the culture of fear happening in our country. Children should not have to be burdened by knowing guns are allowed (by supposedly trusted adults)in their environment. What about promoting kindness and trust instead?

  21. Thank you for taking this action. We may not be able to protect our children 100%, but the fewer killing devices we invite into our schools the better. A gun is perceived by many people as a threat, and I do not want my child to feel threatened in school.

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