School board plans to violate state law and ban “legal” guns at meetings

Story and photo

By Jack Minor

Emotions ran high at the emergency work session held by the District 6 Board of Education to discuss ways to prevent Board-member Brett Reese from legally carrying a weapon to board meetings. Reese informed John Gates, head of district security, that he would be carrying his weapon after receiving death threats.

The board wasted no time making it plain they felt Reese should not be bringing a gun to meetings. Board president Linda Trimberger stated that it was not “Mr. Reese’s decision to carry a weapon to school board meetings.” Several members referenced the Florida school board shooting as well as the recent Arizona shooting involving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Earlier in the week both Trimberger and board-member Bob Stack made statements to the media doubting that Reese had truly received death threats. However, at the meeting they now appeared to be concerned about their own safety as well as Reese’s.

The board discussed several security options including purchasing metal detectors for the administration building and having uniformed officers present at all meetings.
The meeting was held at the Ann K Heiman elementary school to prevent Reese from bringing his gun.

Member Judy Kron stated that she would not be a part of any meeting where there is a gun. One suggestion brought forth was to continue to hold future meetings in schools until a policy could be put into place. President Trimberger expressed her dislike for this idea saying she did not like the idea of “being kicked out of our home”, a reference to the current administration building.

Trimberger said carry a weapon sent the wrong message to the community and if Reese could carry a gun to a board meeting that it would be acceptable for private citizens to carry guns on school property.
The board made it plain their plan was to stop all individuals from carrying firearms regardless of whether the individual had a concealed carry permit or not. The board made multiple references to their safety and fear of being in the crossfire if someone were to make an attempt on Reese’s life. The proposed policy is a mirror image of the Jefferson County school district’s policy.
Stack said that it was necessary for the board to craft a policy because “we have a member who by his actions has gotten himself into a difficult situation.”

Mark Hinze said “we all share some of the reaction that Mr. Reese has attracted to himself.” Hinze went on to say that the board should have a policeman present at the meetings. “We should leave it to the professionals” said Hinze.
Hinze also said this issue will pass with time “thank God Martin Luther King day is going to come and go and will be forgotten.”

When Reese was given a chance to speak he asked if we wanted to send the message to criminals that this is a gun free zone. Reese reminded all present that at the recent school board shooting in Florida the gunman was initially the only armed person in the room. Florida laws currently prohibit non-security personnel from possessing a gun in all school board meetings.
Reese said he regretted that the board has chosen to spend so much time on this issue and not on educating the students.
Ken Delay, executive director of the Colorado Association of School boards said “the obligation of this board is not to say to armed criminals if you come in here I am going to shoot you.”

Reese questioned the legality of a board policy prohibiting weapons from any place the board would meet. This prompted Delay to yell at Reese. “you are engaging in an activity which is designed to move this activity away from the basic issue which is your safety, and which is designed to create difficulty for this board in reaching a fairly straightforward decision.” Member Bruce Broderius said “if they want to challenge it, let them challenge it.”
Reese attempted to respond, but was cut off by Trimbeger. A member of the audience, Vern Spencer a teacher with 27 years of experience said would like to hear what Reese had to say. This prompted Broderius to whirl around in his chair and shout “shut up” Trimberger “is chairman of this board, you are guests and she will run the meeting.” Spencer was then orderered to be escorted out of the meeting.
When Trimberger would not allow Reese to ask questions he walked out of the meeting. Following Reese’s departure, Trimberger said they felt it was Reese’s fault that they were now having this discussion.

Hinze said he wanted another special meeting to formally adopt a policy because Reese “has brought this problem to us as board members” and did not want to be kicked out of the administration building.
Kron said she wanted the policy to be strong enough to have a remedy if Reese did not follow the rule. Earlier Reese said as long as he felt concern for his safety he would continue to carry his weapon. He did say after the meeting that if he had assurances he would be safe he would not carry his gun.

Julie Richard said the policy should apply to all school functions regardless of locations.

Trimberger also placed the blame for any potential safety issues regarding an armed gunman on Reese saying he “should be concerned about what it will cost the taxpayer.” She went on to say if he had not directed people to a white supremacist website they would not be having this discussion. The website that she was referring to was the same one that ABC News did a story on saying the website was intended to appear legitimate and one could easily be fooled by it. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show has also referenced the site.

The next scheduled board meeting is on Jan. 24, also to be held at an elementary school where current law prohibits firearms. Several board members expressed concern about passing a policy at a community engagement meeting and wanted another special meeting passing the policy before that meeting.
While attempting to come up with a date on short notice members had various scheduling conflicts prompting member Stack to say “when you have a priority item that becomes the focus. No matter what any of us have to do this has become a priority item and is where we have to direct our energies.”

Member Richard said the board should separate the crafting of the policy and “separate that from the work of the community engagement. “The last thing we need to do is have a community engagement meeting and have emotions running high about this where we’re not having good dialogue with our community.”
Broderius agreed saying “I don’t think we need to mix this in with a community engagement meeting in anyway shape or form.”


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  • J. Lynch says:

    I will be praying for you and you family during this hard time Mr. Reese. Keep standing strong on your second amendment right!!!! As for MLK Day, be careful as IT IS a battle of “political correctness” and it will not be taken lightly by most people as you have seen.
    I would personally say it is not worth fighting for at this time. No body recognizes MLK for his bad qualities, and he is dead. I do agree that he was not a person of good repute, but arguing that now serves no purpose but to upset people that view him as a hero. No matter what you say, they will not change their view. That is the day we live in. Hence, it best to be known for fighting greater, more pressing problems like abortion and homosexuality as individual issues and not specific people.

  • chris Eikenberg says:

    Again they have not asked the community what they think as they escort you out if you attempt to even ask to hear out the accused.

  • Sarah says:

    Wow, I am astonished at what the school board is spending our tax-dollars talking about. Whether Brett carries his gun to school board meetings or not is his own personal decision. And the school board calling an “emergency” meeting to personally attack Brett is nuts! What does that have to do with pulling WCSD6 out of the toilet…so to say? They are wasting valuable time arguing over something that was settled in 1776…in the Constitution/Bill of Rights. As a legal American citizen Brett has a right to bear arms. While not allowed on public school grounds -K-12, guns are allowed pretty much everywhere else. And, they do not have to be consealed…that is merely a benefit that Weld County (along with a few other places) has. So even without a consealed carry, as long as you can legally own the gun and have jumped all the registration hoops…you can openly carry.

  • Richard says:

    Please just resign.

  • It’s disturbing that someone like Judy Kron is on the school board. What kind of moron wants to restrict law-abiding citizens from carrying weapons? Why would she want to be in a meeting where only the criminals are carrying guns? Is she really that stupid, or is her liberal bias just getting in the way of her common sense?

  • Jim in Houston says:

    Absolutely AMAZING stupidity!

    I guess the concept is that if everybody is helpless, then no criminal will attack them. That concept was destroyed last month when a school board was held at gunpoint by a maniac…remember that??? THAT particular maniac was only stopped by a man with a gun.

  • Saturday, January 8, 2011 I was surprised to see Greeley’s own Pirate Radio showcased on Denver Channel 9’s News.
    It seems that the reason for Channel 9’s interest in the radio station was a commentary that Pirate Radio’s owner, Brett Reese, chose to air. The commentary expresses a listener’s view of the upcoming MLK holiday.

    Brett Reese has received both positive and negative feedback as a result of Channel 9’s story.

    Anyone with common sense should be able to dissect the story and separate the sensationalism of the media from the facts.

    1.) The commentary that was aired by Brett Reese on Pirate Radio was written by a listener, not the commentary’s reader.
    2.) The commentary in question has been aired on Pirate Radio for three years. Although there was an invitation of rebuttal with opposing views, there have been no comments from any listeners. Why should it cause problems now?
    3.) The commentary, when aired, was accompanied by a disclaimer that the views were not necessarily that of the radio station.

    When a discerning news listener separates the true issues, that listener must come to the conclusion that neither Brett Reese, nor his Pirate Radio has committed a wrong. Indeed, the views of a radio LISTENER have been honored by Mr. Reese and Pirate 104.7! Isn’t that what we want from our media? In this instance, it is not Mr. Reese who is politically incorrect, but possibly, those who protest without gleaning the major points of the story from the sensationalism are the ones who are politically incorrect.

    I would challenge anyone with a factual opposing view to write a rebuttal to the commentary, see that Mr. Reese gets it, and watch to see what happens. Mr. Reese courageously honored the original author; I imagine he would do the same for an author with an opposing view.

    Listeners and sponsors of Greeley’s Pirate Radio should be PROUD that their local radio station has an owner that honors his listeners even though it may cause some discontent.

    Linda Kay
    Greeley

  • BThanThis says:

    “We must not give into fear; we must empower our better judgment to create a society where violent rhetoric and imagery is frowned upon. Not because it drive the unbalanced (people) to action, but because it is inherently wrong within itself.” — Jon Stewart, Jan. 10, 2011, in response to the Arizona shootings.

    This has all gotten way, way out of hand. It started with finding out what Reese’s intentions were with reading the letter, but it has now escalated into the realm of the illogical and uncivil diatribe. Reese, no one for that matter, should be subject to death threats or anything like that — that is NOT what Dr. King stood for, who has suddenly taken a backseat in the issues of this whole mess.

    However, why are you bringing a with you to a SCHOOL? This is just perpetuating the irrational and seemingly dangerous thinking that will down our human progress. Now I know Brett didn’t mean to start this social cataclysm, but The Gazette, which Reese OWNS, has not done anything to help him.

    You want to help Brett Reese? Report the truth about what happens at these meetings with Reese. You want to end the madness and the threats, then sit down and engage in orderly conducted discourse.

    STOP LEAVING MEETINGS AND ACTING LIKE A CHILD. IT’S AN EMBARRASSMENT TO YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND YOU’RE MAKING OUR COUNTY LOOK JUST RIDICULOUS.

    If you’re going to beat this, you’re going to beat it in the council room not on your media.

    Thank you for your time.

  • g.karlweiss says:

    This is ABSURD, really bizarre behavior of a School Bd. Staff!! All BUT Board-member Brett Reese should be RELEASED (FIRED!) for their extremely obsessive-compulsive unstable hopholobic mental states. These people r more unstable than CHO!!

    PEOPLE! ATTEND THESE MEETINGS… VOICE UR OUTRAGE ANYWAY AT THIS BEHAVIOR. DEMAND THEIR RESIGNATIONS!!! Get RID of this kind… it is ALL OUR DUTY!!!

  • Greg Thomas says:

    I have seen Brett Reese open-carry his handgun at Golden Corral family restaurant. When someone as unstable as this guy threatens a “shootout”, I would be worried too. His station has taken a lot of flack and it appears that several sponsors have pulled out, not wanting to be associated with him.

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