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California School District Votes To Arm Teachers

The school board approved the policy with a unanimous vote on April 11, 2016.


California School District Votes To Arm Teachers

A central valley school district, south of Fresno, California voted this week to allow their teachers to carry guns on campus.

In a unanimous vote on Monday, April 11th, the school board approved a new policy that allows up to five Kingsburg Joint Union High School District employees – designated by the superintendent – to carry a concealed firearm on school grounds.

Chosen employees will have to complete training approved by Superintendent Randy Morris, and their discipline record, evaluations and school conduct also will be considered.

“I am a proponent of the Second Amendment, and I’m also the biggest proponent of protecting the kids,” Morris said.

While there was little outcry at Monday’s school board meeting, critics say the measure is extreme, pointing to an otherwise lax school campus. At Kingsburg High, which enrolls about 1,200 students, there is no surrounding fence, no police officer on campus and students are allowed to leave for lunch each day.

Morris, the superintendent, said a common misconception has been that the policy was done in reaction to some sort of threat, but the board is being proactive.

Kingsburg police Chief Neil Dadian helped the district create the gun policy, and referred to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

“Imagine if one of those teachers was also armed. They could have stopped that. … The loss of life would’ve been much less,” Dadian said Monday. “My opinion? If a staff member wants to put themselves at risk like that, I’m all for it. I think what they’re doing is everything they possibly can to protect their students, and God bless them for that.”

State law introduced last year prohibits concealed-weapon permit owners from bringing guns on school campuses unless they have permission from the superintendent.

The state Department of Education does not track which schools have since chosen to allow guns, but Morris pointed to Folsom Cordova Unified, east of Sacramento, as an example. That district has allowed select employees to have guns on campus for several years, but weapons are not allowed in the classroom and are stored in vaults at schools.

The policy is effective immediately.

Read full story at the Fresno Bee.

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