ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public School teachers gave the school board an earful tonight – demanding the board address the rising number of guns on their campuses. It was not planned for tonight, but the board heard from several West Mesa High School teachers during the public forum, calling for the board to step up because nothing seems to be working and they don’t feel safe.

“Because I don’t want to die before I retire.”

“I don’t feel safe.”

That was the outcry from West Mesa High School teachers and staff Wednesday night over the number of guns appearing on campus. “Every time that I walk into a new classroom, my first response is ‘Alright, where do I got to put my kids, what do I got to do to keep my kids safe,’” one teacher said.

West Mesa High School has had two incidents this school year. The first in December, when a gun went off in a woodshop class just before the winter break. No one was hurt.

Last week a student brought a gun to school and was caught. The previous school year, one student was killed just outside the high school grounds.

More than a dozen West Mesa staff members spoke to the board Wednesday. They say even their students feel helpless.

“I just want to leave you with what my students have expressed to me. One kid, Oscar: ‘I feel unsafe at these schools because of potential weapons,’ and I have another kid that says ‘I don’t think our teachers don’t know what to do in a situation where there is a weapon. I don’t trust them with my life.’”

According to staff, West Mesa has only one APS police officer and three security guards. The district says they are doing everything in its power to help, but there’s a problem.

“Currently, we have 30 openings for CSAs – Campus Security Aides. And if people want to apply, we are looking because as you heard tonight, West Mesa would like more people. Well, we need more people so we can put them on the campuses,” said Superintendent Scott Elder.

The district hammered home that guns are being brought into the school and the issue is where are the students getting them. Now, the board could not comment during the meeting, but afterwards said they are extremely concerned.

“We need support. I mean, I think it’s the issue of gun violence is broader than just the school. Because we do know that the issue of gun violence just in our community has also seen a rise,” said Yolanda Montoya-Cordova, school board president.

Superintendent Elder says that the district takes these incidents seriously and if a student brings a gun to school, they are automatically expelled for an entire school year. Wednesday night, the board voted on a new “goal setting” program to help the district comply with the Yazzie and Martinez lawsuits, and improve student performance.