Nearly two years ago – in April of 2014 – the District 65 School Board sent a letter to Evanston’s representatives in Springfield, alerting them that, under the State’s Conceal Carry law, properly locked and stowed firearms may be brought into school parking lots, despite conflicting language in District policies suggested by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB).

Section 8:30 of the IASB policy states, “Unless specifically permitted by State law, [no person on school property or at a school event (including visitors, students and employees) shall … ] possess a weapon, any object that can be reasonably considered a weapon or looks like a weapon, or any dangerous device.”

The District 65 Board felt that allowing guns, no matter how properly stowed, put children at risk,

“This is another slippery slope – how we expand what we permit in school parking lots,” said Suni Kartha, chair of the District 65 Policy Committee at the Jan. 11 meeting.

Board member Candance Chow said, “At the time [we wrote the letter] they wanted to put a moratorium on Conceal Carry. They weren’t ready to act. The dust has had plenty of time to settle.”

“Candance and I plan to revisit our original letter, update it and apprise the State lawmakers of our concerns,” said Ms. Kartha. Paul Goren, District 65 Superintendent, said he would also like to be part of the new letter the Board drafts to send to the State.

District 65 Superintendent Paul Goren said he “would be happy” to participate in writing the new letter.

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...