Mayor Brown says proposal to arm school teachers is “smoke-screen”

Mar 19, 2018

Mayor Byron Brown says the city continues lending a hand to help make Buffalo Public schools safe for students. But as WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley reports, the mayor is not in support of arming city school teachers.

"I don't support teachers being armed in the classroom,” said Mayor Brown.

The Mayor responding to the recent suggestion that teachers carry guns to protect students.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, "I don't support teachers being armed in the classroom."
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“And to propose that is a ‘smoke-screen’ for really focusing on sensible, responsible gun control to make sure our schools our safe, that our young people are safe and that the people who work in our schools our safe,” stated Mayor Brown.

Mayor Brown said the city provides "tremendous support" when it comes to school safety.

“We have school resource officers. We are the primary funder of the Peacemakers organization that provides safe passages to and from school for children that go to school in some of the busiest areas of our city.  When there are any concerns in and around schools, we will bring officers in on overtime to make sure those concerns are taken into consideration,” Mayor Brown explained.

But the district does not have school resource officers or police stationed at every the elementary schools. City high schools, like Leonardo Da Vinci located on Porter Avenue, inside the D’Youville College campus, has a school safety officer.  But Principal Greg Lodinsky said that person is not a police officer and is unarmed.  

Principal Greg Lodinsky led students on the recent walk-out at Da Vinci High School on Buffalo's west side.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“In addition, since we are on the college campus we have college security,” noted Lodinsky.

WBFO asked Lodinsky if the issue of school safety has been a distraction at his high school in the classrooms.

“I don’t think it has been a distraction at Da Vinci because we have incorporated it into the curriculum. We make sure that rather than a distraction – it came part of curriculum – part of our school conversation,” Lodinsky remarked.

Principal Lodinsky tells us he believes the issue of arming teachers is a “national conversation”, but he did say teachers are there to educate and not be part of law enforcement.