PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Parents and others are concerned about a proposal for Pittsburgh Public School police guards to carry guns.
Organizers of a protest outside of the Pittsburgh Public School board administrative office Monday said they believe it’s possible a student could be shot and killed, even if by accident, if school security officers are given guns.
“This is the reality. If you think about all of the police shootings that happened around the country, this just makes it more of a risk for our younger students, especially our black students,” Angel Gober, of the Education Rights Network, said.
Protesters even staged a mock funeral, complete with a small casket.
Earlier this month, school security chief George Brown went before the school board to ask that all 22 of the board’s security officers be armed with guns. Those armed officers would be assigned to every school in the district, elementary to high school.
“There’s gonna come a time when we need to reach for our hip to maintain the safety of these kids. We are trying to keep the streets out of our schools, so our kids can sit down, laugh, joke and get an education, and you cannot get an education if we let these people inside to do whatever they want to do,” Brown said at the time.
Meghan Schiller’s Report:
Nearly 70 people signed up to make a statement at Monday night’s school board hearing. The majority appear to be opposed to the idea, but there will also be police officers scheduled to testify. School board members are split on the idea.
“Any ask to do armed guards or armed police officers, that money would be better spent, of course, going to social workers, counselors, teachers who deal with kids every day and can help address those issues right in the classroom,” school board member Moria Kalieda said.
The board will vote on the measure on Wednesday.