Two new board members will vote on allowing CCW permit holders to carry guns

The election of two new members to the Taft Union High School Board of Trustees has delayed a decision on the touchy issue of guns on campus.

The TUHS, like other districts all over the state, is deciding whether or not to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns on campus after Senate Bill 707 was enacted into law.

The item was scheduled to be discussed and voted on at the Nov. 14 meeting but Supt. Blanca Cavazos pulled the item from the agenda after incumbents Tom White and George Harmer were defeated in their reelection bids and will be replaced by Wendy Berry and John Kopp.

"Given the changes, I think it would be incumbent on us to wait and allow the new board members to get up to speed...and they'll be part of that decision making process," Cavazos said at least week's November board meeting.

The current board has been working on the issue since last summer when Chief of Police Ed Whiting urged them to develop a policy that would continue to allow people licensed to carry concealed weapons on school campuses.

People with CCW permits were not regulated by local schools.

Now, school districts up and down the state are wrestling with the issue.

Last week, the Kern High School District approved a policy allowing concealed weapons with permits on school campuses.

TUHS has been examining the issue with two board study sessions, input from the school safety committee and discussions with local law enforcement.

At the second study session in late October, the board heard both pro and and con for allowing concealed carry on campus from faculty and staff.

The district has three board options when it comes to a gun policy:

•A blanket permitting of any CCW permit holder to continue to carry on campus, in effect to pre-SB707 status;

• Adopting an application process to screen people that want to continue to carry similar to policies adopted by the Kern High School District;

•A blanket ban on carry concealed weapons on campus.

If the board takes no action, then the carry of weapons by CCW holders will be banned unless the superintendent grants permission.

Cavazos presented the current board with information from a workshop on gun policy held by Self Insured Schools of Kern (SISK) that included sample policies.