We’ve seen a lot of stories in recent weeks about campus carry policies being enacted in gun-friendly places like Texas and Kansas, but in California? None. Until now.
Armed teachers could soon be a normal occurrence in at least one Sunshine State school district, according to this story from salon.com.
California’s Kingsburg Joint Union High School District board unanimously voted this week to allow school staff members to carry guns on school grounds, according to the Sacramento Bee.The new policy allows up to five district employees, who are to be designated by the superintendent, to carry concealed firearms on school grounds. The policy was put in place as a response in the event an active shooter situation would develop.
The Salon story says Kingsburg Police Chief Neil Dadian helped craft the policy and said “it would be comforting or nice to know that somebody was on campus, armed, and could stop the violence.”
The Bee says those employees will have to complete training approved by the superintendent. Each employee’s discipline record, evaluations, and school conduct will also be taken into consideration.
Some opponents of the policy say it’s an extreme measure for a high school campus that is otherwise lax, the story says. Kingsburg High School, which has about 1,200 students, has no fence, no police officers on campus, and students are permitted to leave campus for lunch each day if they choose.
“Now we’re going to add something else for teachers to think about? Shooting people, really?” said Mary Lou Swenning, a grandparent of children in the district. “That’s a difficult thing for a police officer to do who’s been trained to do this, and you have a split-second to decide if you should kill this person or not. I wouldn’t want that responsibility, and I wouldn’t want it for our teachers.”
The policy faced little opposition from the board, and Kingsburg High student Andrew Vorhees said most of the community is in support of the policy, but it came as a surprise, says the Bee.
“I think most were shocked to hear, but a majority seem to be for it. My philosophy is I’d rather have a gun and not use it than not have a gun and need to use it,” Vorhees said. “I think it’ll be a good thing, but obviously, as cliche as it sounds, with great power comes great responsibility.”