The last armed NYPD cop assigned to New York City public school was pulled out last week, leaving parents in uproar.
NYPD Sg.t Raul Espinet was removed from his post at Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows, Queens. According to the New York Post, Espinet has worked at the school for more than a dozen years.
The move comes only weeks after a shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead on Feb. 14. While the armed officer at the Parkland school failed to act, parents in New York expressed concern over the safety of their children at school.
So why was Espinet removed? According to the New York Post:
Espinet’s position was eliminated because cops in Mayor de Blasio’s new community policing units will visit schools while patrolling the neighborhood, according to the NYPD. School safety agents are stationed at all schools, but are not armed.
In response to the Parkland shooting, The White House has proposed arming teachers, a move that is being met with fierce debate.
Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s recently signed a bill allowing school staff to carry firearms. The idea has been heavily opposed to among democrats and advocates of gun control, as well as by the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers lobby.
Trump praised the law on Monday, writing that now, “Highly trained expert teachers will be allowed to conceal carry, subject to State Law,”.
But in Queens, parents, students, and teachers alike are wondering who would protect them. Josephine Li, a sophomore at the school, questioned de Blasio’s policy.
“There are school shootings everywhere, and they took the one armed officer away from a school with 4,000 kids in it,” she said. “Who is there to protect [us]?”