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Student expelled for bringing pellet gun to school

Cloquet School Board members voted unanimously Monday to expel an elementary school student for bringing a pellet gun to school.

Cloquet Superintendent Ken Scarbrough said the board discussed the expulsion in a closed session, then reconvened and passed a motion to expel the student for one calendar year from the date of the incident.

"There was no evidence of a threats being made to any students or other individuals by the student who had the pellet gun," Scarbrough said, explaining that the principal had received information that the student had the pellet gun in that student's backpack. "The principal investigated the situation and found the unloaded pellet gun.

"The district considers this a serious violation of district policy," he added.

The school district is obligated to provide educational options for the expelled student, for example online schooling or homebound instruction, if the parent chooses that option.

In other matters Monday, board members approved a traffic study at Washington Elementary School that the city of Cloquet is requiring before it approves any work on the parking lot there. At the recommendation of staff, the board also approved a traffic study at Churchill Elementary School.

"It will be nice to have some professionals look at the student busing and drop-off/pick-up times to see where improvements can be made," Scarbrough said.

Both schools get very congested in the morning and afternoon when students are arriving and departing school. Scarbrough said the district has considered putting a sidewalk down the other side of 12th Street and creating a crosswalk with a stop sign in front of the doors to the school to help students cross safely.

Churchill Principal Dave Wangen said he would appreciate new ideas.

"The school and the roads around Churchill were built for a student population of about 300 and we're up to almost 540," he said. "Also there are large numbers of people picking up, and parking on both sides of Granite."

The board also voted Monday to waive a 60-day requirement for notice to retire given by Cloquet High School science teacher Tim Anderson, who submitted a letter April 15 announcing his intent to retire at the end of the work day, June 7.

In construction news, Cloquet High School Principal Warren Peterson said the faulty carpet in the media center is being replaced. Cloquet Middle School Principal Tom Brenner said teachers and staff are already starting to pack up boxes to move to the new middle school in August.