In clarification: School Board says it didn’t request weapons in the schools

By Tracy Ouellette


At Monday night’s East Troy Community Schools Board of Education meeting, School Board President Ted Zess read a prepared statement to clarify who asked for what in regard to the proposed rifles and safes in the district’s school buildings.

The issue came to light when the Village Board packet for the Aug. 18 meeting contained a memo from Police Chief Alan Boyes saying the School District was requesting the Police Department keep rifles in locked safes in each of the district’s schools.

“The request for a tactical rifle to be kept in a locked safe at the High School was brought to the district by the (Village of East Troy) Police Department. The district did not make the request,” Zess said.

Boyes confirmed this on Tuesday morning, saying he went to the district to request the department be allowed to house a rifle at the High School.

“The request to the district was for the High School only,” Zess continued. “During the discussion other schools were mentioned, but were not part of any motion.”

“We wanted to put one rifle in the High School,” Boyes said. “We went to the School Board to put one rifle in the High School and after they approved it, the district came back to us and wanted a weapon in each school, at that time I told them I would look into funding and if that couldn’t happen, then there was no where to go with it anyway.”

When Boyes brought the matter to the Village Board Aug. 18, the discussion was tabled.

“On behalf of the Village Board, we’re not part of the discussion until it’s brought to us, we tabled it because of the controversy that came with it,” Village Board President Randy Timms said Tuesday.

Timms said the board would not be taking up the issue again unless the School District asked it to.

“We’re not even going to consider it unless it comes back to the board and frankly who’s going to want to do that now?” Timms said. “From my point of view if the School Board wants to do this they have to bring it back to the board; if it’s the chief who wants to do this, he has to bring it to the district again and then back to us, but either way we’re not driving the bus on this one.”


Closed session

Because there was some question as to whether the April 7 closed session School Board meeting was posted properly and whether the presentation by Boyes to the board should have been in executive session at all, Zess wanted to further clarify how that meeting came about.

Monday night Zess said that the Police Department requested the closed session with the School Board on April 7 and the board members did not know what the chief would be presenting to the board during that meeting.

Boyes said he didn’t remember if he requested the closed session, but that it was a “safety and security issue” and that was his main concern.

“Not knowing at the time exactly what the Police Department may be discussing, the open meeting exemption for possible past student disciplinary actions was listed. In hindsight, other exemptions would have been a better fit,” Zess said.

“Safety and security is very important to this district, as demonstrated by ongoing training at the schools with the Police Department and by listening to proposals presented by the Police Department. And if they have further proposals, we will consider them” Zess continued.

Whether the School District will bring the issue back to the Village Board remains to be seen at this time with controversy swirling, but for the moment, the possibility of weapons in the East Troy schools is in limbo.

Annual meeting

The School Board will hold its annual meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 22, in the High School library.

District Administrator Dr. Chris Hibner encouraged the public to attend the meeting, as it is an advisory session where the residents have the opportunity to be heard on any number of subjects, not the least of which is the budget.

“It’s also a chance to hear about the state of the district,” Hibner said. “With the challenges facing the district, I encourage everyone to attend.”

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