NewsCovering Kern County


Two students in Kern County arrested for bringing guns to school

Independence High School, Wasco (FILE)
Arvin High School, Arvin (FILE)
Arvin High School, Arvin (FILE)
Posted at 4:27 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 00:05:47-04

ARVIN, Calif. (KERO) — Parents at two different high schools in Kern County got concerning calls Monday about a student on campus with a gun.

Two guns, two students, two high schools. That was the situation Monday when both Arvin High and Independence High in Wasco had to call law enforcement for students bringing firearms to school.

Two separate but very similar incidents for students and parents in Arvin and Wasco on Monday. In Wasco, the school called the district after it found the student with a loaded ghost gun.

Lori Meza with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office says they don’t know if this is becoming more common now but clearly enforcement is working as they were able to catch the student at the beginning of the school day.

"You know students bringing guns on campus, we don’t know how many times they have done it and not gotten caught. We do know that recently they are getting caught."

Items confiscated from the student at Wasco included a nine-millimeter ghost gun which was loaded, along with marijuana and a scale. Meza explains the ghost gun, which is untraceable as it is purchased in parts and then put together, doesn’t mean the student will get a heftier charge.

"Regardless of what type of gun the juvenile had, it is illegal for the juvenile to have a gun. So no matter how you look at it, there was going to be charges for a juvenile having a gun period."

KCSO got the call at around 9:30 a.m. Monday morning and when deputies arrived at the school, they arrested and booked him into juvenile hall for multiple charges including possession of a weapon at school, possession of a loaded firearm, possession of ammunition and possession of marijuana on school grounds.

"In this particular incident, there was nothing that indicated that this was anything more than an isolated incident," added Meza.

Meza says security remained the same Tuesday in Wasco.

Meanwhile over in Arvin, the police did say they increased their officers on campus Tuesday out of precaution as a student was also arrested for bringing a handgun to school on Monday. The staff found it at around 11 a.m. during a routine investigation in the dean’s office.

Just like in Wasco's case, because the student is a minor, the school cannot release the criminal report. However, according to the state education code, students possessing a gun face mandatory expulsion.

In Arvin’s case, the Kern High School District police found no indication that the student intended to use the weapon at school.

Just hours later at around 2:15 p.m., the school was placed on a secure perimeter due to a call of a threat nearby. Fifteen minutes later the school was put on an official lockdown due to police activity in the area. The lockdown was lifted at 2:45 p.m. and students were dismissed.

The Arvin Police Department has not responded to a request to discuss what prompted that lockdown but the Kern High School District did point out that both incidents were not related but says it will remain vigilant.

"There is a full-time KHSD police officer assigned to the campus as well as security personnel," said Erin Briscoe-Clarke, the public information officer for the KHSD.

The school administrators will continue to assess the situation and if additional support is needed, it will be available.

This comes on the heels of a report last week about schools losing their resource officers, but KCSO says this speaks to its diligent approach to safety and of course as always recommends to the community that if they see something, say something.