Faculty union at Normandale raises safety concerns after reported assault

December 14, 2018 04:50 PM

New calls for safety training are being made at Normandale Community College in Bloomington after two faculty members were reportedly assaulted by a student Wednesday.

Bloomington police said 21-year-old Gavin Hutson was arrested with a gun in the school's parking ramp.

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RELATED: Man in custody after police say he assaulted 2 Normandale Community College faculty members

And Thursday, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office announced he has been charged with one count of third-degree assault, two counts of misdemeanor fifth-degree assault and a gross misdemeanor charge of carrying a pistol without a permit. 

He is expected to make his first court appearance Friday.

Meanwhile, the president of the union representing faculty members at the school said the attack was unacceptable.

RELATED: Charges: Normandale student knocked teacher unconscious, assaulted 2 others while fleeing

The union is making a series of recommendations to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system:

  • 1. Commit financial resources so that classrooms and offices have the best infrastructure and technology to address emergencies
  • 2. Offer emergency response training to everyone on campus so that everyone knows where to go and who to call if something happens
  • 3. The Minnesota State system should reach responsibly to safety concerns raised by faculty and students, making sure not to create a climate where warnings can be ignored.

For its part, the school issued a statement stressing that the safety of its students, faculty and staff is its top priority:

"Normandale Community College has measures in place to evaluate campus safety to ensure the safety of our campus community," it read in part. "We review feedback from the campus community, the Bloomington Police Department and many other resources to inform our decisions, and we will continue to do so after Wednesday's incident. 

"As a result of ongoing evaluations, Normandale Community College invested $1.6 million over the past three years in a campus-wide electronic door access system, a comprehensive emergency notification system, additional security cameras, and improved parking lot lighting."
 

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