Petition Closed

A solid education is the cornerstone to success in life. Being bullied on a regular basis and threatened to be shot by a pellet gun by a peer is something that brings to a screeching halt the security required to focus on those scholastic endeavors. Every child deserves the right to learn without fear of being assaulted.

Letter to
Superintendent of the UCSD Dr. Doug Stilwell
Urbandale City Council Ron Pogge
Urbandale City Council Tom Gayman
and 11 others
Urbandale City Council Mike Carver
Urbandale City Council John Forbes
Mayor Bob Andeweg
Urbandale School Board Mark Wierson
Urbandale School Board Shawn St. John
Urbandale School Board Cate Newberg
Urbandale School Board Kyle Kruidenier
Board of Directors, School Board Jeffrey Farrell
Vice-President of the Board of Directors Adam Obrecht
President of the Board of Directors Ryan Judas
Urbandale City Council Creighton Cox
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Superintendent of the UCSD and members of the School Board.

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Ensure a Safe Learning Environment for Urbandale Community School District Elementary Students

A solid education is the cornerstone to success in life. Being bullied on a regular basis and threatened to be shot by a pellet gun by a peer is something that brings to a screeching halt the security required to focus on those scholastic endeavors. Every child deserves the right to learn without fear of being assaulted.

On March 27th, 2012 a student with a reputation as a bully at Jensen Elementary School pulled a pellet gun out of his pants on the playground. He began showing the weapon off to fellow students and ultimately, threatened three of those students with the proclamation that, "if you tell, I will shoot you."

School officials were alerted and the student was brought into the Principal's office. One of the threatened students was called into the Principal's office with the armed child and asked if he had seen him with the weapon. He was a little taken aback by this, but did respond that he had. After some coaxing, the child finally relinquished the gun to the Principal. Fortunately, no one was harmed in this incident.

Urbandale Community School District policy 509.7B (1) states:
"The Urbandale Community School District will not permit or tolerate the possession, display, or use of weapons and/or other dangerous objects by any person on school premises or vehicles, while the person is participating in or attending
District events and activities, or while the person is away from school grounds if such conduct directly affects the good order and management of the District. Students who violate this policy may be subject to expulsion and/or other disciplinary action. Weapons shall be taken from students and others who bring them onto school premises, vehicles or to school activities. Items which may be illegal to possess shall be turned over to proper authorities. Violations of this policy will be reported to law enforcement agencies as required by law. Weapons under the control of law enforcement officials shall be exempt from this policy."

The penalty for such is also outlined in school policy 509.7B(3)
"Students may be subject to expulsion for violating this prohibition against weapons. The administration may impose a lesser sanction if in its judgment all of the circumstances surrounding the incident warrant a less severe sanction. The following serve as guidelines for the administration when weapons which are not firearms are involved.

Elementary Students:

a. Suspension for three to five days for possession of a weapon.

b. Suspension for five to ten days for display of a weapon.

c. Suspension with recommendation for expulsion for displaying a weapon in a threatening manner or for use of a weapon to inflict harm or injury to another person or for placing others in imminent danger."

Keep in mind, those were the guidelines for weapons which are NOT considered firearms.

There are two other statutes which delineate the definition of the school board's interpretation of a "weapon".

The first of these is Board Policy 509.7B(2), which states the definition of a weapon, "Any object which could be used to injure another person and which has no school-related purpose will be considered a weapon. An object which has a school-related purpose but which is used to threaten or inflict injury will also be considered a weapon. Weapons include, but are not limited to, knives of all types, guns, firearms, metal pipes, chains, numchucks, throwing stars, metal knuckles, blackjacks, fireworks, explosives or other chemicals, simulated weapons, including toys that can reasonably be mistaken for a weapon."

Possession of any of these should bring about the above listed penalties.

The other, is Board Policy 509.7B(4) which states, "Any student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school will be expelled from school for a period of not less than one calendar year. The Superintendent shall have the authority to recommend this expulsion requirement be modified for a student on a case-by-case basis. For purposes of this policy, the term "firearm" includes any weapon which is designed or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, the frame or receiver of any such weapon, a muffler or silencer for such a weapon, or any explosive, incendiary device, or poison gas."

Unfortunately, this student had a pellet gun, and though there are numerous accounts of children and adults being killed accidentally by pellet guns, since there was no explosive means of it being discharged, it was not considered to be a firearm.

Apparently, a pellet gun is not a serious enough threat, by either definition established by the school board, to warrant expulsion by Superintendent Doug Stilwell.

The student in question was suspended for less than 5 days. Upon his very first day back at school, his bullying antics resumed .

The policies, as established by the Urbandale Community School District school board, and enforced by Superintendent, Dr. Doug Stilwell, need to reflect the generally accepted stance of "Zero Tolerance" in our schools.

Please help me impress upon them the importance of this issue.

Our children deserve a safe place to learn.
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Sincerely,

Kim Yoblonski