After students reportedly brought guns to campus twice during November, Menlo-Atherton High School teachers and other community members are asking the school district to take steps to try to keep students and staff safe.
During a Dec. 7 Sequoia Union High School District governing board meeting, several community members, including teachers at the Atherton high school, asked the board to begin collecting data on gun ownership and safety, along with loss and trauma related to gun violence in the community. The Atherton Police Department arrested students on Nov. 10 and Nov. 29 for allegedly bringing firearms to campus.
Menlo Park City Council member Cecilia Taylor told the board it's important to find out why students are coming to school with guns, "not just expel them and think that the situation is over." She encouraged the district to dig into data and explore the mental health state of the community.
M-A social studies teacher Mallory Bryne said that many members of her community are extremely concerned about the incidents and it's a cause of anxiety in the community. She said she wanted to see increased training for staff on gun de-escalation techniques.
Jeremy Arey, a paraprofessional at M-A, said although the incidents were handled well by school administrators, he wants to see the district collecting gun-related data from the community.
"The school is one of the biggest in the county and needs more support from the district to be proactive," he said.
Sequoia Union High School District Trustee Sathvik Nori, a former M-A student and Stanford University student, expressed concern about the recent incidents on Twitter before he was sworn in as a board member last week.
The M-A Parent Teacher Association plans to host a forum on Tuesday, Dec. 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, 555 Middlefield Road in Atherton. The gun-related incidents will be the topic of discussion during the meeting.
Watch a video of the meeting here: