Despite a refusal by school officials to allow a meeting to be held at Compton’s Roosevelt Middle School, a quartet of elected representatives (Congresswoman Janice Hahn, Mayor Aja Brown, City Rep. Yvonne Arceneaux and school board member Emma Sharif) convened a meeting in Compton this weekend to give residents an opportunity to voice their opinions about a new assault rifle policy adopted unanimously by the board of education in July.

Sharif joined the meeting in the Compton City Council Chambers Saturday despite her initial affirmative vote on July 8 in favor a policy that allows selected school police officers to carry AR-15 rifles in the trunk of their cars. The three time-elected politician said concerns voiced by constituents prompted her to do additional research, and she was not happy about what she found.

“I decided to hold a public hearing because of constituent’s concerns about the gun policy. I wanted to inform people about the CSUD’s policy and to hear their concerns, comments and suggestions,” Sharif explained.

Brown, who has already asked the school board to rescind the policy and said she was told “no,” described the entire process of approving the gun policy as “dsyfunctional” and said there were checks and balances needed to hold people accountable for their actions.

She also told the approximately 100 people at the meeting that there too many questions left unanswered.

Others who addressed the meting included students, parents, union members and representatives of community organizations such as the Compton Democratic Club and Lulac (League of United Latin American Citizens).

Among the concerns voiced at the meeting was the idea of allowing school police to carry assault weapons in a city already labeled with a violent reputation; the fact that the fire power of the rifles might result in unintended victims being hit; the lack of transparency in the entire process; and what people described as “loop holes” in the gun policy.

In terms of what’s next, Sharif wants the issue placed on the board agenda again. “Hindsight being 20/20, we do need more discussion on the issue, and I will be asking the superintendent to bring it back.”

Congresswoman Hahn also suggested that possibly a motion could be made and voted on to not implement the policy.

Additionally, a special meeting may soon be held to discuss the gun policy again.