A unanimous decision to ban Police officers from carrying weapons on school property passed on January 22.
The 10-0 vote by the Baltimore City School Board denies the Baltimore School Police Department from carrying firearms on school property based on the recommendation of two separate school safety commissions.
Baltimore is the only city in the US which has its own school police department and now, is the only city which does not allow for its officers to carry firearms.
“I think that this is a very unwise decision. These are sworn police officers. They are not security guards. They have more training than Baltimore police,” said State Del. Cheryl D. Glenn who attempted to introduce legislation which would overturn the decision, but withdrew because of the lack of support from the Baltimore city school board.
According to the law now in place, officers of the Baltimore School Police Department are only allowed to carry weapons when school is not in session and must keep their weapons locked up while on campus.
A student group called the Baltimore Algebra Project rallied to protest trained police from carrying weapons on school property. The students took over the meeting on Tuesday and refused to give up the floor for other opinions to be heard.
They handed out report cards which gave the relationship between the officers and students an “F” grade and formed a “phalanx” with their backs to the school board, according to the Daily Wire.
In a video posted by ACLU Maryland Education, Kimberly Humphrey says:
“We have to focus on certain practices and other alternatives that are a way of preventing the concerning behaviors. Guns in schools alone are not the answer.”
Other reasons for preventing police officers from carrying the tools needed to defend them were also discussed, one parent alleged racism was a key concern, as 89 of the 90 arrests made last year by Baltimore school police were of black students. Others claimed police have not been successful at stopping school shootings in the past.
“We just need to be clear that if and when we have a serious situation in Baltimore, everyone’s going to look back to this day and say, ‘you know what, they had a chance to get it right and they didn’t,’” said President of the School Police Union, Sgt. Clyde Boatwright.
What do you think of the School Board’s ban on officers carrying their duty weapons during school hours? Leave a comment below to let me know.