KINGSBURG – Kingsburg Joint Union High School District officials are weighing their options regarding student safety measures after Gov. Jerry Brown approved Assembly Bill 424 in mid-October.

The bill removed an option that allowed superintendents to choose staff members with concealed carry weapons permits to bring their guns on campus. School officials said they’re disappointed by the ruling but will abide by the law that takes effect Jan. 1.

“We are disappointed by the decision made by Gov. Brown,” Superintendent Don Shoemaker said. “AB 424 denies local control for our school board to make decisions that they feel are best for the students at Kingsburg High School.”

The school district first approved a policy to allow guns on campus by concealed carry weapons permit holders in April 2016. Kingsburg was among five districts in the state to allow designated employees to bring guns to school as a safety measure.

Shoemaker said taking that option away makes the students more unguarded.

“In today’s world, small school districts need options to protect kids to the best of their ability. We believe AB 424 has taken those options away and makes students more vulnerable. Although we wholeheartedly disagree with the passage of AB 424, we will respect and abide by the decision, while we discuss our next actions also within the law.”

During the school board meeting where the policy was first approved, parents asked about other safety measures such as installing fencing, closing the campus at lunch and hiring trained security.

Shoemaker said no decision regarding those steps has yet been decided and input is welcomed during any KJUHSD board meeting.

“Like all board meetings, the public can address the board with all types of concerns,” he said.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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