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Message About Gun Safety

Dear East St. Louis School District 189 Families,

We share a common goal to keep our youth and young people safe from gun violence.  The East St. Louis School District is deeply committed to ensuring the safety of all students, staff, and school visitors on a daily basis.  We need your help in this process.

Parents and guardians have a critical responsibility under the law to protect children from accessing guns.  Children may not be able to tell the difference between a real gun or a toy gun.  Students who bring any type of gun - including toy guns - or bullets to school will face school and/or legal consequences.  Here are some suggestions about ways you can help ensure the safety of our children and youth:

  1. Check your child’s backpack and talk to them about what is not allowed at school.  Security staff check backpacks daily.  Please help us by talking to your child about what is not appropriate to take to school and ensure it is not brought in. 

  2. Talk to your child about the dangers of guns.  Even if you do not own a gun, your child may be able to access one at the home of a relative or friend. 

  3. Secure your gun at all times.  Children often know where the family gun is kept.  Annually, hundreds of children unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else.  Additionally, thousands of youth die by firearm suicide.  Gun locks are readily available from local law enforcement, including from the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department.

  4. When you know something, speak up.  Last year we launched SpeakUp189, where individuals can report bullying, planned fights, weapons at school, students in crisis or other urgent situations by emailing or by calling/texting 618.515.2165 and sharing your concern.  Reports are confidential, so nobody will know who made the report.

  5. Help is available.  Many of our children and teens know someone who has been affected by gun violence. If your child needs additional support or someone to talk to, please encourage them to speak with their school social worker or call the Wraparound Wellness Center at 618-646-3333.

We continuously assess, respond, monitor and improve our safety and security protocols.  We thank each of our staff, students, campus visitors, and law enforcement partners for their cooperation and ongoing support.  Let’s continue to work together to keep our schools safe. 


Arthur R. Culver, Superintendent