A recall drive has been approved against a northern Idaho school board chairman who proposed arming teachers as a security measure, setting up a possible election this spring.
Bonner County Clerk Ann Dutson-Sater said she's received enough signatures from recall supporters to start the process against Steve Youngdahl, head of the Lake Pend Oreille School District board, the Bonner County Daily Bee reported. The deadline was Friday.
Ann Dutson-Sater said Youngdahl has five days to resign after receiving a letter about the recall. If he declines, the school district must schedule a special election for March 11.
"I can assure you that I'm not going to resign," Youngdahl told The Associated Press on Saturday. "And I've already received the letter from the clerk."
Youngdahl spurred a community debate last fall when he proposed placing guns in secure locations inside schools and training some teachers, administrators and other employees to use them in case of a school shooting.
The guns would use a fingerprint locking system that would restrict their use to those authorized to handle them, he said. Youngdahl said he was concerned that five of the district's 11 schools are in rural areas where the response time by law enforcement can be up to 20 minutes.
Recall organizer Tom Bokowy said more than 120 signatures were submitted last week, and the county confirmed that 99 were valid. Recall organizers obtained five more signatures by the deadline.
Bokowy and other local parents launched the recall drive following Youngdahl's proposal to arm teachers. Bokowy said he and others believed Youngdahl used biased and untrustworthy sources to back up his argument to arm teachers.
Youngdahl said that in bringing up the proposal, he was just doing his job as board chairman.