Royalton to look at school security after threatening incident

Staff Writer

jennie.zeitler@mcrecord.com

 

The Royalton School Board discussed possible actions following an Oct. 14 incident at the middle/high school. The Board heard details of the incident at its meeting, Monday.

A young man had entered the school and spent a few minutes in the commons area before going outside. He exchanged offensive comments with students and showed an obscene hand gesture before leaving school property.

Adam Gunderson, Royalton’s chief of police, arrested Ronald Clark, age 23, in downtown Royalton minutes later. The  next morning, Clark was charged with trespassing on school property, possession of alcohol on school grounds, disorderly conduct (offensive/abusive/noisy/obscene) and fifth degree assault due to threatening to beat up the students in front of the school, Gunderson said.

Clark is being held at the Morrison County Jail, with a hearing scheduled for Nov. 4.

Middle/high school Principal Joel Swenson watched the school’s security camera recordings and observed that the man had been in the school in and around the commons area for nine  minutes. Once he exited the building, he was asked to leave school grounds by Board Members Jim Block and Dale Lenz.

Following the incident, “coaches/advisers and teachers were talked to about proper protocol in this situation for future reference,” Swenson said.

A “reach call” was made to all parents of students in grades six – 12  to notify them of the incident and to make sure that correct information was going out. This communication system allows a recorded message to be sent to parents via phone, email or text.

The Board suggested calling a closed meeting to discuss the incident and appropriate action to take in the future. The meeting will be held Monday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m. at the high school.

“School security is the only topic on the agenda, in response to this incident,” said Supt. Jon Ellerbusch.

The Board will be joined at the meeting by both the secondary and elementary principals, the athletic director and Adam Gunderson.

“We will discuss what we can do now while we’re waiting on the facility study being done,” Ellerbusch said. “The study is addressing security concerns too and should be done in a couple months. We’ll be asking if there is anything we can do in the meantime.”

The district is waiting for results of the facility study being done jointly by Springsted Inc. of  St. Paul, Kraus-Anderson of Minneapolis and Worner and Associates of St. Cloud.

Royalton School Board Briefs

Other business that came before the Royalton School Board included:

• Accepting the resignations of paraprofessional  (para) Stephany Karpinski, aassistant baseball coach Chad Shelstad, C-squad girls basketball coach Vicki Blomme, girls track and field assistant coach Amy Skeate-Carlson, Special Education para and summer MAP coordinator LaJoy Scepurek, assistant wrestling coach Evan Warnert, after school MAP supervisor Myra Jensen and after school MAP supervisor Bryce Jensen;

• Approving the hiring of Barbara Eaton as MAP supervisor and Title I para and Adam Snyder as assistant boys basketball coach;

• Accepting a $100 donation from Pine Country Bank to support the employee back-to-school breakfast; and

• Approving Cragun’s Resort and Hotel on Gull Lake as the venue for the 2014 senior class trip.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board will be Monday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. at the high school. A closed session will be held Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. for the annual board self-evaluation.

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