The Basic Responsibility of School Districts

California Education Code section 48980 requires that at the beginning of the first semester or quarter of the regular school term, the governing board of each school district must notify parents/guardians of a minor of their rights or responsibilities under certain provisions of the Education Code.

In 2022, California passed legislation requiring local education agencies to provide annual notice to parents and guardians regarding California’s child access prevention and safe storage laws for firearms. Part of the law requires the CA Department of Education to develop model content for this notice.

In July 2023, the Department of Education released the model content that can be used by school districts in the annual notice to parents. Links to the model content are included in ​ the Tools and Resources section of this toolkit.

School districts are not required to use the model content; however, Cal. Ed. Code § 48986 provides that “A local educational agency, a private school, and the department are immune from civil liability for any damages allegedly caused by, arising out of, or relating to the notice if the entity provided the notice using the model language provided to it by the department.”

Many areas of San Diego County also have local laws that govern the safe storage of firearms and expand the obligations of gun owners. The model content notes that your city or county may have additional requirements. Because we believe it is important for families to understand ALL of their safe storage obligations, we provide sample language options for those districts with additional restrictions to consider.

Use of the model content is recommended for school districts, AND there is much more that school districts can do to keep their students safe!

Note that school districts have other legal obligations regarding school safety that are not covered in this toolkit. These include new obligations beginning Fall 2023 to address homicidal threats in middle and high schools, as detailed in Superintendent Thurmond’s letter.

Page last updated Aug 9, 2023.

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