A police officer, who is also a student at Darton State College in Albany, Georgia, was reported to have been escorted from a classroom at the request of the teacher, according to WLAB.
The teacher was said to have been “uncomfortable” with a gun in the classroom and asked that the officer be removed from the class. The student/police officer was reported to have cooperated and to have left without incident.
Darton State College policies detail a prohibition on firearms on the campus, with the specific exception of law enforcement officers, according the college’s website.
“Students are prohibited from possession of firearms in or on college property except by law enforcement officers, judges and district attorneys. The possession or use of any other offensive weapons is prohibited.”
“Darton State College is appreciative for the service of our law enforcement, and welcome them as students on our campus. We have apologized to the officer for our misunderstanding when he attended class on our campus, and we regret this happened. We have met with the faculty and staff involved to reiterate the Georgia Law and Darton Policy,” Dr. Thomas Ormond said, as quoted by WLAB, making clear the college’s policy on allowing law enforcement officers to carry weapons on campus.
The Darton story has sparked a firestorm of debate on social media with many users voicing support for the officer and others questioning the need for a gun in a classroom. On the Law Enforcement Today Facebook page, Christine Vieira opined that if the police officer was attending class, and was off-duty, then he didn’t need to be in uniform or to be carrying a gun.
Bill Holt responded to Ms. Viera that police officers must carry their weapons “24/7” because they have sworn to uphold the law and are “obligated” to maintain this whether they are off-duty or not. Holt also questioned what could be wrong with a properly qualified police officer carrying a gun on a college campus.
The dramatic increase in mass school shootings has started a conversation on the topic of whether teachers should be permitted, or required, to carry guns in schools. Fifty-six percent of users at Debate.org feel that teachers should have firearms in the classroom, with many citing an armed teacher as an effective way to protect students. Forty-four percent of users polled by the website stated a belief that guns in classrooms will result in more violence and accidental shootings.
A 2009 video uploaded to YouTube purports to depict a police officer giving a demonstration on gun safety to children in a classroom with a loaded handgun accidentally shooting himself in the foot.
“See how accidents happen? They happen,” the officer states to the class while grimacing in pain.
In January, 2015, the Guardian, reported on a presumably trained Kentucky police officer accidentally shooting himself in an elevator. In February, 2015, a Chicago police officer accidentally shot himself while removing a gun from a locker in a courthouse weapons room, according to Police One. In May, 2015, a Mississippi dispatcher accidentally shot himself while maintaining his firearm, according to WMC Action News 5. In 2012, a North Carolina police officer was reported to have accidentally shot himself while making a traffic stop; the police department and the district attorney attempted to make a case that the driver shot the police officer with the police officer’s gun, but was acquitted, according to Slate. In 2012, an Idaho professor who possessed a concealed-carry permit accidentally shot himself while teaching a college class, according to Reuters.
The Inquisitr has previously reported on the 4,000 percent disparity between gun violence in the United States and gun violence in the United Kingdom, which maintains strict gun control laws, for both police officers and citizens.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]