published on March 15, 2016 - 10:12 AM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

The Kingsburg Joint Union High School District is exploring a policy that would allow up to five district employees to carry concealed weapons on campus.

The aim of the measure is “providing a safe environment for students and staff members,” according to a district report that received an initial reading before the board of trustees Monday.

The subject of guns on campus has been a hot topic of national discussion. Back in October 2015 Gov. Jerry Brown actually signed Senate Bill 707, a law that bans concealed weapons on school or college campuses.

Brown signed the bill less than two weeks after a gunman killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

The new law does allow the carrying of concealed weapons with the written permission of school officials, and that is the route the Kingsburg Joint Union High School District is going. It follows the example of other districts, such as Anderson Union High School District near Redding, which decided to continue its existing policy after the passage of SB 707.

As part of the proposed policy, Kingsburg district employees must hold a current Carrying Concealed Weapons permit, which are issued by California sheriffs. The employee must also complete a training program designated by the superintendent.

There are arguments on both sides of the issue — some say the presence of guns on campus makes students safer, while others argue the exact opposite.

Laura Maldonado, a reporter with the Kingsburg Recorder, asked for some opinions of the proposal on her Facebook page. The responses ran the gamut. One person who identified herself as a teacher at another school district said “there’s maybe one out of 160 teachers I’d trust to carry a gun.” Another said shooters specifically target schools “because they know there is no one there to defend themselves.”

Whatever direction the district decides to go, it’s sure to spark some controversy. What are your thoughts?

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