New state law puts an end to KHSD gun policy

FILE -- Kern High School District trustees meet Monday night, March 6, 2017, in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Gov. Jerry Brown is putting an end to a controversial gun policy approved by the Kern High School District.

Last year, the district let outsiders with a concealed-carry weapons permit to have guns on campus. Then, in November, the trustees voted 3-2 to allow teachers and staff with permits to bring guns into classrooms. Both of these circumstances needed written permission from the superintendent.

Assembly Bill 424 overturns these decisions to allow guns in schools.

Jeff Flores, a trustee, said his district's decision to allow teachers to have guns in the classroom probably prompted state action.

"I don't know how guns in the classroom raise test scores," he said. "I don't know how guns in the classroom closes the achievement gap in Kern County."

Other board members disagree.

Trustee Mike Williams posted on Facebook, "This bill makes our students and employees less safe and, in my opinion, violates the 2nd amendment of the US Constitution."

Twenty-three nonemployees were authorized to bring firearms on campus. Administrative regulations had not been set for teachers.

Flores said it's now time to move forward.

"There's pros and cons to guns on campus, but I think this is a chance to pause, focus on our priorities, and start focusing on education," said Flores.

The change won't take effect until January.

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