Leadership Symposium Early Bird Deadline Approaching | Join K-12 leaders nationwide for three days of empowering strategies, networking, and inspiration! Discounted pricing ends March 1. Register today.
School Climate & Safety

Minn. District Gets Ready to Welcome Students Back After High School Shootings

By Rhea R. Borja — April 12, 2005 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The school board for Minnesota’s Red Lake school district, whose high school was the site of a March 21 attack by a student gunman, voted unanimously April 6 to reopen its schools this week.

However, the re-opening may be delayed yet again as the Federal Bureau of Investigation was reportedly searching the high school for a gun.

Students at the 355-student Red Lake High School were scheduled to resume classes April 11 in the older section of the high school building, away from the heavily damaged wing in which 16-year-old Jeff Weise shot and killed five students, a teacher, and a school security guard, before killing himself.

The middle and high school students were scheduled to attend half-days this week. However, they will not go to school on Friday, because the 1,481- student district wants to use April 15 to let teachers plan for the weeks ahead, said Kathryn “Jody” Beaulieu, a Red Lake school board member. Elementary school students were scheduled to resume their normal full-day schedules this week.

District officials on the remote American Indian reservation postponed a traditional healing ceremony outside the school after news of the FBI weapon search.

That ceremony would have marked the first time most students, teachers and parents had entered the school since Mr. Weise burst through the doors minutes before the end of a school day.

Seeking Normalcy

Red Lake school board members made their decision to reopen schools after a former Kentucky principal, whose school was also the site of a deadly shooting by a student, spoke to them and local educators last week about beginning anew.

Bill Bond was the principal of Heath High School in West Paducah, Ky., on Dec. 1, 1997. That’s the day a 14-year-old student shot eight other students. Three of them died. The gunman, Michael Carneal, pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

Mr. Bond counseled Red Lake administrators and teachers on how to conduct the first days back at school, such as how to engage students, yet be sensitive to any emotional trauma they’re experiencing.

He is now a school violence consultant for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, based in Reston, Va., and has visited the sites of five other school shootings since 1997.

“The kids need to come back and … get back to some normalcy,” Mr. Bond said. “It’s really important that the kids have a connection with this school and with their teachers.”

One task students won’t have to worry about is taking state standardized tests this spring, the Minnesota education commissioner ruled.

Related Tags:


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Opinion What Do Restorative Practices Look Like in Schools?
Such practices teach students how to resolve disputes amicably, own their actions, and be empathetic and forgiving.
9 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
School Climate & Safety School Dress Codes Often Target Girls. What Happens When Male Teachers Have to Enforce Them?
Male teachers say the task can put them in a risky and uncomfortable position.
11 min read
Image of articles of clothing on a coat hook outside a school entrance.
Laura Baker/Education Week via Canva
School Climate & Safety Are School Buses Safe? An Expert Explains
A perennial concern is getting new attention.
4 min read
Photo of rescue workers and turned over school bus.
Brandy Taylor / iStock / Getty Images Plus
School Climate & Safety Jury Finds Michigan School Shooter’s Mother Guilty of Manslaughter
Jennifer Crumbley was accused of failing to secure a gun and ammunition at home and failing to get help for her son's mental health.
2 min read
Jennifer Crumbley arrives in court on Feb. 5, 2024 in Pontiac, Mich.
Jennifer Crumbley arrives in court on Feb. 5, 2024 in Pontiac, Mich.
Carlos Osorio/AP