Group opposes placing police in elementary schools - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Group opposes placing police in elementary schools

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By Cuthbert Langley

Citizens United for Public Schools held a press conference Wednesday to state their disagreement with North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey's decision to place police officers in all elementary schools.

Representatives from the NAACP and the Charleston County School Board were present Wednesday morning to speak out against what they call an ill-advised and hastily made decision.  Dot Scott, President of the NAACP, says that if schools want zero tolerance for guns, that tolerance should transfer to the police as well.

"If you're going to bring the officers in with guns, zero tolerance is zero tolerance. It's the belief of the people here that more guns may not be the answer," she said.

In a statement to News 2, Mayor Keith Summey said that now is not the time for name calling, but the time for protecting our children.

"Finger pointing and name calling never solves problems, and it is a sad day when we are criticized for taking action to protect the most vulnerable among us, our children," Summey said.

Many present at the press conference said they think that adding police officers is not the way to protect students at the schools. All of the elementary schools in the Charleston County School District are required to keep their doors locked at all times. Members of the Citizens for Public Schools say that by adding more security, North Charleston is changing the image of the schools.

"An increased police presence may aggravate the situation in some schools and make our schools look and operate like detention facilities than places of learning," King said.

Summey disagrees saying that he is placing officers in the school to protect the children as they learn and to give parents peace of mind while their students are at school.

Charleston County School Board member Elizabeth Moffly disagrees and said that law enforcement is not the route to take.

"If it's outside intrusions, then maybe we should have security. Something different than law enforcement.Something like campus police that collaborate with the administration," Moffly said.

Overall, members of the organization say they want to create a dialogue between residents and the city, instead of what they call the monologue Mayor Summey has created.

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