Parents meet with San Jose Unified superintendent after ghost gun seized at school

Hundreds of concerned parents and staff in San Jose met with the San Jose Unified superintendent after a student brought a loaded ghost gun to the Willow Glen High School campus last week

The meeting began with the superintendent, the San Jose Police Department and other agencies talking about safety and communication procedures. But a lot of the parents still expressed frustration about how the district communicates during and after emergencies.

"This past week I had both of my children at different schools afraid for their lives at school," Trudy McKanna, a local parent, said.    

The Willow Glen High School student was caught with a ghost gun and knife on campus. Two school resource officers seized the weapons, and the school was placed on lockdown. Parents also say a threat was recently made at Lincoln High. Willow Glen Middle School teacher Ruth Ammons spoke about her concerns.

"I just sent you guys an email asking about your due diligence for safety. What are we going to do? Two-thirds of our cameras aren’t working. I got no response. We aren’t trained completely how to manage and navigate these traumas that are going on," Ammons said.


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As the parent of two students in the district, McKanna said teachers are on the front line and the feedback they give should be heard and taken seriously.   

"Specifically, moving forward I’d like to see us start by listening to our teachers who are in the classroom with our students," McKanna said.   

Parents who spoke said they wanted clear-cut answers about proper communication for emergency situations at school. Some complained the district didn’t immediately inform parents about what was happening during the lockdown.   

"This is the piece that I do want to be just really honest about. You will never be the first person to hear from us about an emergency with cell phones and social media," said Nancy Albarran, San Jose Unified Schools superintendent.      

Albarran says technology allows people to spread information instantly but following safety procedures and getting out the correct information to parents is their priority.   

"But it’s really important that it’s accurate, and it’s disseminated simultaneously into all the different languages that we have to communicate with," Albarran said.    

The district says in the future, it hopes to put updates on its websites and give teachers more resources to deal with emergencies. They also asked parents to report any suspicious behavior and to wait for directions in an emergency.