Elementary, middle and high school campuses are places of learning and high-powered weaponry DOES NOT belong on campus.
In October of 2012, the interim Chief of School Police Billy Green (a Lt. from the City of Fontana Police Department) purchased 14 assault rifles for use by the School Police Department. Because the purchase amount was under the "threshold" for expenses requiring Board approval, no public input was possible. However, an entire new policy and procedures for handling the weapon was required and the personnel payroll expense of the 40 hour training for each officer that took place over the holiday break in December both required Board approval that has yet to happen.
Please stand with parents, students, teachers and concerned community members who are speaking out against these assault rifles being on campus on a daily basis. According to a letter to parents from interim Chief of School Police, each day an officer will retrieve the weapon from department headquarters, transport to their assigned school site and either place in a locked safe on campus or leave in the trunk of their vehicle if there is no safe on site. He further writes, "Officers are already equipped with handguns while carrying out their mission of safeguarding school sites. The rifles are needed to provide the officers with the tools necessary to respond to a school site in the event of an active shooter or other situation which greatly jeopardizes the safety of children and staff."
Even in the unlikely event of an "active shooter" it is probable that the officer 1) will NOT have time to retrieve the weapon; 2) will NOT be able to use the high-powered weapon that is used on a rare and irregular basis with any accuracy during a stressful situation; and 3) would further jeopardize the safety of students, staff and his/herself in attempting to confront one or more attackers as the only law enforcement officer on site.
We assert that the community should have been allowed to have this serious conversation about safety on school campuses before the decision to purchase these weapons, train and arm school police with them was made. We further assert that school campuses are no place for this kind of weaponry, and that the lesson "that the bigger gun wins" is not one we want our children to learn.