Two weeks after a shooting in a Baltimore high school, the city’s school board reversed its position on whether school police should be allowed to carry weapons, voting 8-2 in support of legislation that would amend state law to authorize officers to patrol schools with guns.
The board’s decision comes a month after the 10 members voted unanimously against the idea of arming school police officers. The dramatic shift could provide a needed boost to state Del. Cheryl Glenn’s proposed legislation in Annapolis. Even if the board hadn’t thrown its support behind the bill, Glenn had said she would’ve continued to push for change after the recent shooting at Frederick Douglass High School.
Neil Davis, a 25-year-old family member of a student, came into Douglass on Feb. 8 and shot special education assistant Michael Marks, according to police. The 56-year-old longtime staffer was seriously injured but survived.
The shooting instantly revived the debate over whether school police should be allowed to carry their guns, a contentious issue that’s long divided parents, students and lawmakers. Those on both sides of the issue stridently believe their point of view represents the best way to keep kids safe, the Baltimore Sun reports.