By Nico Roig and Arman Craig, Staff Writers
// On Oct. 3, Acalanes High School hosted a meeting for the community on gun safety in the Performing Arts Center led by experts and school administration.
The speaker panel included Lafayette Police Chief Ben Alldritt, Lafayette School District (LAFSD) Superintendent Brent Stephens, Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) Superintendent Dr. John Nickerson, LAFSD Director of Student Services Shea Hunter, Student Services Program Specialist Ami Nichols, and Acalanes principal Eric Shawn.
On Sept. 26, California passed Assembly Bill 28, which forces an 11 percent tax excise on purchasing firearms, firearm precursor parts, and ammunition. Lafayette then passed an ordinance requiring owners of firearms to lock their guns.
“[The ordinance is something] that we are trying to get passed in the towns around us,” meeting moderator and gun safety activist Jeanne Hughes said.
Lafayette Police Department (LPD) stresses the importance of locking guns. Community members can request that the LPD come to their house and check that their guns are properly stored, as well as offering free gun locks at the police station.
“We encourage you to please call us if you have a question about home safety and have nobody else to go to. We’re happy to come down and talk with you,” Alldritt said.
School safety was the main priority of the meeting. Currently, the AUHSD uses various techniques to prevent campus threats including the Bias Incident Response Team; an anonymous reporting system that can be accessed through the AUHSD website. The panel also discussed the impact of the Wellness Center and its contribution to students on campus.
Following the event, some parents complimented the informative and open discussion format of the meeting.
“I wanted to hear about all of their emergency preparedness plans. It seems like they have great plans already in place and a great working relationship,” audience member Marissa Silva said.
The presentation helped educate parents in a positive direction about gun safety and how to educate their students on the prevalent issue.
“I do think all this communication should be presented to the kids. I think it would be super beneficial for all the high schoolers to hear,” Silva said.
Overall, the Lafayette school districts aim to continue education and protection on the subject of gun safety following this meaningful discussion.
“Just elevating the conversation is always a win to me, so this is just yet another topic where we are trying to elevate that discussion,” Alldritt said.