UPPER ST. CLAIR (KDKA) — The Upper St. Clair School Board has voted to arm school police officers in each of the district’s six schools. The Board also authorized increasing the police force from three to six full-time officers.READ MORE: Local Kids Battling Illness Featured In Nonprofit's Superhero Calendar
The vote followed a heated board meeting at the Upper St. Clair High School on Wednesday night.
There were mixed opinions on both sides of the issue.
One woman said she was “strongly, strongly opposed to police officers carrying firearms. It’s a horrifying thought to think that I have to attend school in the same building where officers have guns.”
Another parent disagreed, saying, “I don’t think the kids even notice if the police officer has a gun, or if the do notice it, that should give them security, not fear.”READ MORE: Diversified Energy Donates 200 Coats To Kids In Washington County
The issue of school safety in the district has been heightened after a recent Instagram post.
The person who sent it to KDKA-TV said the boy, posing with a firearm in the photo, will be entering the seventh grade at the Fort Couch Middle School. They said he has posted other disturbing images and comments.
Some parents at the school board meeting complained that there’s a lack of communication about the incident, and they’re angry that they’re not getting answers.
“The fact that we’re all here this evening is because we are all concerned about a recent incident that you cannot discuss, and it should indicate that there is a glaring problem in this school district,” one woman said.
School administrators say Upper St. Clair Police and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the disturbing social media post. The FBI has also been notified.
School officials say that everyone’s safety is, and will continue to take precedence.MORE NEWS: Handmade Arcade Returns To David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Superintendent Dr. John Fozzo told the crowd, “Safety and security is our top priority. It’s essential to everything we do in our schools and in our classrooms.”