Robbinsdale Area Schools

Message about weapons incidents

Dear Robbinsdale Area Schools families and staff,

Our district is in the news this week for reasons that are not positive. Both Robbinsdale and Sandburg middle schools experienced separate incidents involving weapons. 

We’re sad for the anxiety, fear and stress these incidents have caused for students, families, and staff. No one should have to go through this at school. At the same time, we deeply appreciate the members of the public who alerted us to a social media post and other information that raised concern. 

In two cases earlier this week, well after the school day had ended, school leaders learned about alleged situations involving guns. As soon as leaders learned about the situations, they launched investigations to determine if the incidents involved the schools or their students. We have completed our internal investigations and turned the matters over to local law enforcement. 

As we shared with families at both schools, at no point during these investigations did administrators find a weapon on school property, nor were direct threats made to students or staff. 

Unfortunately, just today Sandburg Middle School administrators heard an accusation that a student may have brought a gun to school on Thursday. This news causes us great concern. But, as with the other incidents, school leaders began investigating the situation immediately. The investigation is ongoing.

Based on what is known thus far, there was no immediate threat to the school, and we did not notify law enforcement.

Due to state student data privacy laws, we cannot share additional details about those involved, including discipline information. In general, students who bring a gun to school can be disciplined in a variety of ways, including through out-of-school suspension and exclusion from their school. 

Federal laws govern what we can and cannot share with law enforcement in complex situations like these, including video recordings. We will continue to cooperate with the police in any incident that involves an immediate threat.

This country’s gun culture results in daily occurrences of people, young and old, posting photos and videos of themselves with firearms. However, no student should have access to firearms.

We appreciate our partnership with the police departments that serve our communities, and we strive to cooperate with them to ensure our schools stay safe.

Sincerely, 

David Engstrom
Superintendent
Robbinsdale Area Schools