Board Overwhelmingly Decides Pittsburgh School Officers Won't Be Armed
Pittsburgh Public Schools will not be arming its school police officers with guns.
On a 1-8 vote Wednesday night, the board that oversees the district of about 24,000 students nixed a proposal to provide guns to school officers stationed at high school campuses as well as in mobile units that respond to incidents across the district’s 54 schools.
Board member Moira Kaleida suggested that arming police with guns in schools could be detrimental to some students, particularly those who have experienced trauma. She also had concerns that the move could negatively impact students of color and children with disabilities.
The vote was the result of a request from the district police chief earlier this month, but board members expressed concern about the change armed officers in schools would have on the student’s well-being. A federal study showed that armed officers were present at least once a week in 43% of public schools in 2015-16, up from just 31% ten years prior.