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Schools need educators — and armed police officers

I think that Aimee Harmon-Darrow made many cogent points in her commentary, “If Baltimore schools were properly staffed, police wouldn’t feel the need to be armed” (Oct. 17). It is true that our students have a desperate need for “more teachers, more guidance counselors, more social workers, more special educators....” I can attest to this after 40 years working in these very schools, but the real question is will school police be able to protect students without weapons?

Baltimore is one of the most dangerous cities in America, with 2,027 violent crimes per 100,000 and 342 homicides in 2017. More teachers, while necessary for better education, would not be able to protect students in a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School incident.

This is not a hypothetical question. In 2018, there were 82 school shooting incidents in the United States. Reaction to violence is always slower than the action. Police have literally seconds to respond and I can’t image a scenario where running to a lock box to retrieve weapons would save any students.

So while providing needed educational resources is important, tying the hands of the very police who put their lives on the line to protect your children would be counterproductive. Educational resources and police protection are two different arguments. It has more to do with student protection and less with police “feeling safer.”

K. Gary Ambridge, Bel Air

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