Public Safety Proposal Mandates Armed Officers in California Schools

Assembly Bill 3038 mandates armed officers at every California K-12 school.

The bill has sparked controversy, with the ACLU expressing concerns.

Some parents support the bill, citing 96 school shootings in the state from 2018 to 2023.

A new public safety package, which includes a bill mandating armed officers at every school in California, has been introduced into the state Legislature.

Assembly Bill 3038 is part of a three-pronged public safety initiative proposed by Assemblyman Bill Essayli (R-Corona). The legislation would require all K-12 schools in California to have at least one armed officer on-site during school hours or when students are on campus.

Controversy Surrounding the Bill

The bill has sparked controversy, with some residents and organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), expressing concerns.

“Students of color and students with disabilities are especially vulnerable to discriminatory arrests when police have a presence in schools,” said Ana Mendoza, director of education equity with ACLU Southern California.

Assemblyman Essayli’s Argument

Essayli, however, argues that the presence of police in schools could be a matter of life and death.

“California has experienced 96 school shootings between 2018 and 2023. If we want to get serious about school shootings and stopping them before they happen, we need good guys and girls with guns ready to act,” Essayli said.

ACLU’s Concerns and Parental Support

The ACLU has previously reported that schools with law enforcement present are under-resourced and over-criminalized, with students with disabilities nearly three times more likely to be arrested.

Despite these concerns, some parents are in favor of the bill, citing the need for increased security measures in schools.

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