WASHINGTON -- A missing signature disqualified a grant proposal for mental health and conflict resolution aid for the Minnesota school district where a student last month killed seven people, US officials said yesterday.
Last summer, the Beltrami Area Service Collaborative, which includes the Red Lake Indian Reservation and three other school districts in the state, applied for a three-year, $3 million Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant.
The Education Department rejected the application because one of the school districts had its business manager, rather than its superintendent, sign the paperwork.
The grant would have paid for services such as mental health, conflict resolution, and substance abuse, said John Pugleasa, executive director for the collaborative.
In March, 16-year-old Jeff Weise fatally shot a school security guard, five students, and a teacher at Red Lake High School before killing himself. He also killed his grandfather and his grandfather's girlfriend.
With the grants, Pugleasa said, ''perhaps we would have been better able to respond" after the shootings.
''The signature that was required was not there," said Deborah A. Price, the Education Department's assistant deputy secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. ''The statutes and regulations dictate how we review applications. This is not a gray area; it's a black-and-white area."