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Saint Louis Public Schools Board withdraws resolution that would teach parents how to lock up guns

Thirteen children in the City of St. Louis were fatally shot during the summer of 2019

ST. LOUIS — The Saint Louis Public Schools Board withdrew a resolution Tuesday that would have required letters to be sent home to parents with information about how to safely secure their guns. 

The parent or guardian would then be required to sign and return the letter to the school.

“This resolution could really help demonstrate the power of parents in our community and our schools to make a difference in gun violence. This resolution would have just been another tool to keep our students safe," Dr. Joyce Roberts said at Tuesday's meeting.

Roberts was the sponsor of the resolution, and she's the one who withdrew it at the meeting. 

The board had been scheduled to take vote on it. Instead, they deferred to a broader safety resolution passed in November 2019.

"We need to trust our superintendent. We need to support our staff in allowing them to make those decisions to carry out those visions and goals set forth in that resolution," the board's vice president, Natalie Vowell, said.  "We need to avoid the micromanagement and the pitfalls of previous boards."

The group Moms Demand Action expressed hope the safe storage of guns could still be taught to parents.

“The district needs to define how are they going to work proactively to build safe communities, and in our view that includes what can we do to make sure adults are securing their firearms," Cathy Gilbert said.

In 2019, Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed and Everytown for Gun Safety proposed the policy to the members of the City of St. Louis Board of Education following the many shootings St. Louis experienced in past years.

Experts say passing these types of policies could be one of the most effective approaches to curb firearm-related dangers, especially school shootings, according to a news release from Reed's office.

"We're not hurting any family member or anybody by giving them the proper information to make an informed decision," Reed said. "I certainly think it will have an impact. A school system can play an important role in overall safety of the students. We can change their behaviors, we can create a safer better system for all."

In 2019, the Los Angeles Unified School District passed a similar school board resolution.

Thirteen children in the City of St. Louis were fatally shot during the summer of 2019. 

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"CUT SHORT: Unsolved Killings of St. Louis Children" is an initiative of KSDK 5 On Your Side and its community outreach program, "Project 5," to raise awareness of the unchecked violence against children in the city of St. Louis from the summer of 2019 to present.

We're dedicated to telling their stories, following the criminal investigations and shining a light on the reasons for gun violence in our city. We won't let up.

Please join us in this important campaign seeking justice for our youth by sharing these stories about their young lives cut short, reaching out to elected officials and supporting the worthy organizations in St. Louis working to make our city's neighborhoods safer places to raise families.

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