Bakersfield College hosts high school reunion threatened with cancellation due to gang violence

Bakersfield College hosts high school reunion threatened with cancellation due to gang violence | EdSource






























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Bakersfield College has announced it will host a homecoming game next Friday between neighboring high schools whose surrounding communities have recently seen a spate of deadly shootings.

The McFarland High School Cougars will face the Delano High School Tigers at Memorial Stadium at Bakersfield College. The Bakersfield Historic Venue is about 30 miles southeast of McFarland where the game was originally scheduled.

Kern Community College District’s Early College program has a large presence on both campuses, so many of its students are also dual-enrolled Bakersfield College students. Middle and high school officials saw the new location as a chance to expose more students to the college experience.

“Chancellor Sonya Christian and her administration continue to provide college experiences for students, and Friday’s homecoming game is just another real-time event for McFarland and Delano students to get a taste of the college lifestyle,” Superintendent Samuel Aaron Resendez said in a statement. .

Delano and McFarland straddle a dividing line between upstate and downstate gangs. Six people have been killed in shootings since October 4 in communities in northern Kern County and Tulare County.

The threat of gang violence casts a shadow over fall activities such as football and reunions. Law enforcement said there were no credible threats against the schools, but threats of retaliation circulating on social media have left many members of school communities uneasy. Three school districts, including McFarland Unified and Delano Joint Union High, canceled after-school activities this week. Robert F. Kennedy in Delano has canceled his scheduled comeback tonight.

State Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Bakersfield) wrote a letter to State Attorney Rob Bonta, calling on him to create a regional task force to address violence in the area. She called Kern a “rural and underfunded” county. The county has the highest murder rate in the state.


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