BRAWLEY — Parents, grandparents and teachers voiced their concerns both for and against Brawley Elementary School District considering the approval of campus security officers being armed while on duty.
Friday night was the second public meeting for the district about the issue.
Parents voiced their concerns to the Board of Trustees in regard to the matter.
A parent raised the question as to what would happen in the event that the students attack the armed officer in an attempt to gain control of his weapon.
Frank Fernandez, one of the men recommended by Garcia for the position, said they are trained to handle those situations.
“It would be difficult for someone to grab my weapon from my triple holster,” said Fernandez.
Although Brawley is a small town where most people have grown up together, one has to consider the fact that there are two prisons within the county, said Theresa Shelton, parent and resident of Brawley.
“I am for these officers being in our schools, because we don’t know these people,” said Shelton. “Their families move with them and sometimes they move into our county.”
Shelton said by having an armed officer at the schools it would provide safety for these children in the event of a prisoner making an attack on one of the schools.
The criminals that could potentially make an attack at these schools target areas or places where they know people will be unarmed, said Lupe Narravo, grandparent and resident of Brawley.
“I am for the armed officers in our school,” said Navarro. “We have to ask ourselves, in the event of an attack, do we want someone to be there to protect these children and shoot back if need be?”
The school district is considering all available options to protect their students and staff in an emergency situation, said Garcia.
“I do not know when a decision will be made about the issue,” said Garcia. “We are under no mandate or even required to make a decision.”
Garcia said he is telling the board to take as much time as they need to gather input and make an informed decision.
“Their decision may be to not make a decision on the matter, but to continue to study the issue,” said Garcia.
Prevention and being proactive is what Garcia said the school district is aiming for.
“We don’t want a tragedy to happen, we want focus on prevention,” said Garcia.
Staff Writer Alexis Rangel can be reached at 760-337-3440 or firstname.lastname@example.org