PTA refuses to let police chief and his lieutenant speak at a panel discussion of school safety because they wouldn't disarm. The panel was comprised of five local politicians and an "educator", so, with all solutions certain to be covered, no further voices were needed.
The Ramapo, New York Police Department revealed that its chief and lieutenant were met with opposition when they wanted to attend a parent-teacher organization-sponsored event — and it was because they refused to disarm for the affair.
What are the details?
A Saturday post on the Town of Ramapo Police Department’s Facebook revealed that the department’s chief and lieutenant — both of whom are in charge of local “school-based policing” — had plans to attend Saturday’s Central Hudson Region PTA-sponsored breakfast.
The event was an “opportunity to have a direct conversation about our children’s education and safety with [the New York State] Education leadership and legislators,” according to a posting on the PTA’s Facebook page.
The PTA org apparently had a different idea about police attendance, because according to the posting, the event moderator — and school teacher — told the chief that armed police were not permitted to attend the event, and that “armed uniformed police officers would make people uncomfortable.”
Presumably the school has already been declared a "gun-free" zone, so a PTA-sponsored discussion on the puzzle of why students in similar gun-free zones are still being killed despite signs declaring that policy and posted at every entrance wouldn't want to hear from an armed individual. The focus would be centered on what other steps could be taken beyond a strict rule forbidding guns on the premises. My suggestion would be to post greeters wearing smiley-face buttons at the door, to greet every visitor, and to remind them, especially those carrying "assault rifles", of the rule.
My guess is that the people who organized this meeting would welcome the idea of good will ambassadors, and are of the type who would be triggered by the sight of any gun, wielded by friend or foe, holstered or not.
So good for the moderator, who shielded his fellow panel participants from such emotional harm.