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Baltimore schools to discuss arming their police officers

Posted at 5:51 AM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-22 17:23:15-05

BALTIMORE — A Baltimore City Delegate has introduced a bill that would allow the Baltimore City Schools Police to carry their weapons inside school buildings.

Currently, the city school force cannot carry their weapons inside schools but Delegate Cheryl Glynn filed the bill in the hopes to raise the discussion again.

On Tuesday evening, parents, teachers, and community members plan on voicing their opinion on the controversial topic once again. The issue was tabled over three years ago, but in October 2018, groups gathered to talk about the controversial subject.

RELATED: Baltimore considering arming school police officers

Under the state law, Baltimore officers who are assigned to a school are required to put their guns in a safe or lockbox, and they are not allowed to carry them on school property during regular school hours. Baltimore City is the only school system in the state that has their own police force, but they are also one of the few without armed officers.

Anne Arundel, Carroll, Cecil, St. Mary's, and Montgomery County Public Schools are just some of the districts in our area that have armed officers. Those schools partner with either the local police or sheriff's offices to have specific officers patrol their buildings.

With school shootings becoming more common, a big concern is having armed SRO's to protect students.

A local example of this would be in St. Mary's County last year. In March 2018, a 17-year-old student at Great Mills High School came into school with a gun and shot two students. School Resource Officer, Deputy Blaine Gaskill, has since been hailed a hero for using his gun to stop the shooting.

But some say a big issue in comparing armed officers in these schools to Baltimore City Public Schools is an already tense relationship between officers and students. Mr. Dayvon Love, Director of Public Policy for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle sent WMAR-2 News the following statement:

"Too often, Black youth have attributed to them notions of inherent criminality. This creates an environment where Black youth do not get treated with the care and concern that most people agree are best for children. Allowing school police officers to carry guns in schools just exposes Black youth to another threat of violence, that will likely have the effect of creating a more dangerous environment for them."

The NAACP Baltimore will present the proposal Tuesday night at a community safety forum. Anyone who wants to attend can stop by between 6-9 p.m. at the Greater Baltimore Urban League on Orchard Street.