Abington School Board’s discussion on guns in schools leads to controversy

During the January 21st meeting of the Abington School Board, the agenda included a first-read of a policy being revised that covers its district-employed police officer. The district employs one police officer, plus has two officers from the Abington Township Police Department who serve the district as School Resource Officers. The policy being reviewed would only apply to the one district employed officer. The need to revise the policy was driven by a change to state law.

In the video of the meeting, you will see that the discussion takes a broader turn to be about police officers carrying guns in schools. You can watch the video below:

New school board member Dr. Tamar Klaiman states (11:13) that “police officers shoot people pretty regularly.” And in an earlier statement (3:55), she states that black and brown students are more likely to be shot by school resource officers.

We did some research and can not find one incident where a police officer shot un unarmed student in a school. There is one case of a school resource officer accidentally discharging his weapon within a school (no one was hurt) and one case of a student resource officer committing suicide by shooting himself at a school. If you know of one, please send the details to info@burbmedia.com.

In response to the statements made during the discussion, Abington Township Police Chief Patrick Malloy has asked to give a presentation to the school board on the relationship between the department and the district. A letter was posted to the district website that invites the public to the presentation that will take place on February 4th. Below is the text of the letter:

January 27, 2020

Dear Abington/Rockledge Families,

As your School Board President, it is my goal to lead with integrity, transparency, and fidelity. During the January 21, 2020 school board meeting, comments were made by Board members regarding police and school resource officers. Abington Township Police Chief Patrick Molloy has asked to address the Abington School Board with information pertaining to the long-standing relationship between the Abington School District and the Abington Township Police Department.

Given the amount of public interest in this topic and the Board’s desire to hear from the community, we are scheduling this presentation to be held at the next Board meeting. This meeting will be held on February 4, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. in the Abington Junior High School Little Theatre located at 2056 Susquehanna Road, Abington, PA.

We encourage and value your attendance and participation.

Shameeka Browne, President

More to come.

Photo: Abington School District
Video: The antiquated way the school district uploads its video does not allow for embedding a video or selecting a starting point. Due to that, we recorded it and uploaded the portion of the meeting to YouTube.com.