Minnesota school officials have been jittery this week about even the slightest rumor about guns and alleged threats, one week after an elementary school shooting in Connecticut left 26 dead.
Northfield Middle School is in a "secure mode" for the day Friday as a precautionary measure after a vague concern about "a staff member and someone associated with that person," Northfield Patch reports.
In Cottage Grove, police are saying that a rumor that a female student planned to bring a gun to Park High School on Friday was unfounded, the South Washington County Bulletin reports.
Meanwhile, in Cass Lake, schools were closed all day Friday following rumors of violence circulating on social media, Detroit Lakes Online reports.
Earlier in the week, all schools were on lockdown in Red Wing and rumors ran rampant with the arrival of a teenage hitchhiker at schools in Hibbing and Superior.
Meanwhile Friday, National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre urged Congress to put armed law enforcement agents in every American school in order to stop school shootings. In a highly watched media conference, he said, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
Among those in disagreement is St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, who said he was "appalled by this reckless disregard for the safety of our children." (Coleman's full statement below.) Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., who has received NRA backing, said he was deeply disappointed in the NRA.
Guns in schools could be a part of a debate about curbing gun violence in the Minnesota Legislature.
State Rep. Tony Cornish said he plans to introduce legislation that would allow teachers to carry guns in schools.
Although MPR's PoliGraph feature reports that there is little evidence to support Cornish's claim that the strategy works in Israel and Texas.
Statement from St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman on the NRA's call for armed guards in all schools:
"On the day when we’re still burying children killed in Newtown, CT, the NRA has the audacity to say the answer is more guns and more violence that exposes our children to unprecedented dangers. As a mayor, as a father, and as a citizen, I’m appalled by this reckless disregard for the safety of our children. We must have a real conversation about how to protect our children and all members of our community that, among other items, includes:
prohibiting the manufacture and sale of the military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips
federal legislation that addresses the broken background check system
a legislative package that makes gun trafficking a felony
directing the Justice Department to crack down on rogue gun dealers
outlawing cop-killer bullets and similar ammunition
"None of these solutions were offered by the NRA today which means they’ve proven they have no interest in being part of this conversation that stops crimes like this from happening again.
"Our hearts continue to go out to the families affected by his heinous crime. As I gather with my family this holiday, they will all be in our hearts and prayers."