Today we’ve learned that school resource officer Scott Peterson has resigned amid an investigation into his conduct during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Mr. Peterson was a trained officer armed with a handgun. He arrived outside the building 90 seconds into the shooting and didn’t enter the school for an additional four minutes or more.
I don’t want to speculate what was going on in his mind as he sat outside hearing those rounds fire one after another for over four minutes. I imagine he knew he was outgunned. I imagine he has a family that he was thinking that he’d never go home to if he stepped inside. I imagine he heard screaming from students that he’d watched grow up from his post.
The fact is this trained and armed man froze. He failed to do is job and people died. The sad truth is: had he stepped inside mostly likely there would have been 18 dead that day. He was no match for that weapon. I do not condone his actions and I’m not excusing them. He knew his job and what it might entail. Every police officer and security guard in this country knows what they signed up for.
My point here is that Donald Trump suggested that we ask educators to do the job of molding young minds into doctors and lawyers and also do the job of a trained resource officer who couldn’t handle the risk.
It’s too much to put on a Teacher’s already incredibly full plate. They are overworked, overwhelmed, and underpaid. If one of those teachers had been armed last week he or she would have been faced with killing their former student. Anyone whose ever taught a child can’t imagine the horror of being responsible for shooting a student who sat in their class. That’s too big of a burden to place on their shoulders when they carry so much on a daily basis already. I don’t know the answers. But I firmly believe we must find another way.
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