A growing chorus of community members has denounced a new policy that will allow Compton Unified School Police officers to carry semiautomatic AR-15 rifles while on patrol.
The policy, approved by the Compton Unified Board of Education in July, allows officers who are specially trained to buy and carry the rifles while on duty.
The measure sparked criticism from some within the school’s community, who are weary of such high-powered weaponry on school grounds.
The latest rebuke comes from the Compton chapter of the NAACP, which demanded that the policy be rescinded.
“Compton schools are not located in Beirut, Gaza, or Kabul. They are located in the heart of a hard- working, proud community in Los Angeles County,” said President Paulette Simpson-Gipson. “We won’t be satisfied until this decision is abrogated.”
The district, which refused to grant interviews with either Supt. Darin Brawley or School Police Chief William Wu, instead released a statement attributed to Wu.
“Our objective is quite simple — we want to save lives. The safety of Compton school students, faculty and staff is our prime concern,” the statement said. “These rifles give us greater flexibility in dealing with a person with bad intent who comes onto any of our campuses.”
The rifles will be kept in the trunk of patrol cars until needed, the district said.
“The goal — as always — is ensuring safety and as a department and as a school district we are committed to that achieving that goal,” Wu said.
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