Kingsburg High School leaders disarm staff members who had permission to carry guns on campus

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Kingsburg Joint Union High School leaders are disarming the few staff members who had permission to carry guns on campus. (KFSN)

Governor Brown signed a bill banning firearms on school grounds prompting Kingsburg Joint Union High School leaders to disarm a few staff members who had permission to carry guns on campus. The school had up to five anonymous staff members carrying weapons.

Superintendent Don Shoemaker says the decision strips local districts from deciding what type of protection will work best in the event of an emergency.

"Of course, trying to protect our students is the most important thing we want to do obviously. There's been over 200 shootings school shooting incidences since Sandy Hook," said Shoemaker.

Democratic Assemblymember Kevin McCarty of Sacramento introduced Assembly Bill 424 that California lawmakers passed 43-23. The goal was to reduce gun violence by making schools truly gun free.

The move was met Monday with mixed reaction from some seniors at Kingsburg High.

"For them to take away something like that for the students like security. I just feel like they shouldn't have done that. I feel like they should've stuck to one idea instead of changing it," said Kingsburg High Senior Eric Maldonado.

"There isn't much of a difference in the school. I think either way it was fine and didn't really impact the students much other than knowing that they had safe protection," said Darion Castillo.

The arming of certain and select staff members was just as much of a deterrent as a protective measure according to the superintendent. The staff members who had concealed weapons permits also went through a special training course in Nevada to learn how to handle active shooter situations. Each person paid for it themselves.

The district has other policies in the works but Shoemaker says they are not as effective as a gun would be. He said those first three minutes of a school shooting before officers can get to campus are the most critical.

"The reality is once somebody gets on campus you can have all the alarms and cameras and bells and whistles you want, which are important to have. But there's nothing like force meeting force," said Shoemaker.

The school board is one of five in the state that allowed some staff members to carry a gun. At this point, they do not plan to pursue any legal action.

Related Topics:
politicsgun lawscaliforniaeducationCaliforniaKingsburg
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