school police

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Black students, especially Black girls, are disproportionately referred to the juvenile justice system by the Pittsburgh Public School district’s own police officers. Superintendent Anthony Hamlet says he plans to change that.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools board members Devon Taliaferro and Pam Harbin say it’s time for the district to be police-free.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools police officers will not be allowed to carry guns anytime soon.

The school board voted 8-1 Wednesday to deny a revised policy that would have authorized the district’s 22 sworn officers to carry firearms.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools’ board members will vote on whether to arm the 22 police officers the district employs later this month. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A Republican State Senate Committee met with a group of school officials and school police officers from the western Pennsyvlania on Monday, to talk about what resources and support they need to keep schools safe.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Quaker Valley School police officer Aaron Vanatta walks through the hallways of the middle school in Sewickley pointing out measures he has taken to secure the building.

A group of officers from around the country trail behind him. He's sharing anecdotes that demonstrate what he’s learned, such as the importance of the cork boards above the tiled walls cluttered with posters of the school motto and student artwork. 

“So you’ll see in the whole school, they let the kids put stuff up, so they’ve taken ownership in the building and they aren’t going to damage it,” he said.

Gateway School District / Facebook

School police officers sworn into the Gateway School District were equipped with firearms for the first time after the district’s petition for an armed force was approved Tuesday. The district plans to have an armed officer at each of the district’s seven schools.

A similar petition was denied in September by Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Timothy O’Reilly who said the school board did not think the decision through and officers did not have enough training. The school board is still appealing that verdict.