ACLU Op-Ed: School Police Officers Should Go Unarmed Because Guns Send 'Negative Message'
School police officers should go unarmed because guns send a "negative message" to students, according to an op-ed posted on the American Civil Liberties Union’s website.
Harold Jordan, a senior policy advocate for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, believes that resource officers at Pittsburgh city schools should be forced to continue working without guns, because there's no evidence that arming them would increase safety.
“Having officers patrol the hallways with firearms sends a negative message to students,” Jordan wrote. “It makes many students feel that they are being treated like suspects.”
“Places of learning are not security zones or criminal justice institutions, and they should not be staffed that way,” Jordan argued.
The op-ed was reposted on the ACLU’s main website Friday.
Arming school police officers does not make schools safer. https://t.co/xcPfjEUPnE
— ACLU National (@ACLU) April 1, 2017
On "Fox & Friends" today, security expert John Rafferty said this "makes no sense," since the school police officers in question are fully sworn, fully trained law enforcement officers.
"We're not having a debate between unarmed security guards versus armed security guards," Rafferty said. "These are people that actually can carry firearms, and they're not being allowed to."
He said this reinforces the importance of educating parents, teachers and students about guns and gun safety.
"When they see somebody with a firearm in school, they shouldn't have this negative orientation that goes along with it," Rafferty said.