Target: Mike Williams, President of Kern High School District Board of Trustees
Goal: Prevent high school staff from bringing concealed firearms onto high school campuses.
This summer, Kern High School District (KHSD) became the fourth school district in California to permit concealed weapons on school campuses. A rise in policies such as these has occurred in response to the multitude of school shootings in recent years, causing administration to take drastic measures in hopes of ensuring the safety of their staff and students. While this concern is completely legitimate, the answer to gun violence in schools is not to allow more guns on campus, especially if those guns are being carried by anyone other than highly trained professionals.
It is a sad fact that schools are not always the safe havens from violence that they should be. However, during instances of gun violence, school staff should focus on getting their students to safety, rather than risking their lives or potentially injuring or killing someone else accidentally with a firearm. Teachers and other school staff are not trained to de-escalate intense, violent situations and should leave that job to authorities.
KHSD’s current gun carrying policy allows anyone with a permit to bring a concealed weapon onto campus, so long as they have first obtained the superintendent’s permission. Currently, this policy does not include KHSD’s employees. Soon, district trustees will decide whether or not KHSD employees should be allowed to bring concealed firearms to work. If you believe that they shouldn’t be, tell the board of trustees by signing below.
Dear Mr. Williams,
I was disturbed to learn about Kern High School District’s recent decision to allow guns on school grounds. While I understand the concern for students’ safety in light of our nation’s history of school shootings, I do not believe that allowing staff members to bring guns to school is the proper solution to that problem.
School staff should focus on increasing security measures and improving safety drills rather than preparing to fight fire with fire. Doing so is potentially unsafe, and having guns in classrooms may create mistrust, tension, and fear between students and staff.
When you and your trustees meet to discuss the issue of allowing KHSD staff to carry guns, please consider safer, more responsible solutions. Gun violence in U.S. schools is a deeply unfortunate reality, but the deescalation of such violence should be handled by properly trained authorities, not high school employees.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mika Järvinen