BUFFALO, N.Y. — Lockport community activists and parents plan to rally outside Wednesday evening's school board meeting.
They are not happy about a recommendation by the school district's Safety Subcommittee to place armed security guards inside schools.
Bethany Patterson with Citizens for Change wonders why armed guards are needed since the Niagara County Sheriff's Office and Lockport Police Department are nearby.
Parent Syreeta Dean said, "We're standing up for our children because we do not want them to be intimidated by these officers. With everything that is going on in the world, why would you want to bring armed police officers into our high school? It's a learning institution, it's not a prison."
The activists aren't opposed to security at the door, but having a concealed weapon presents a problem.
The armed guards would likely be retired Lockport police officers.
"Why are we as taxpayers paying them $35 an hour to walk around our schools with guns? This certainly doesn't serve our Black and Brown communities or students that are not of color," Patterson said.
The Troy Hodge case has also created tension between some residents and police.
"People don't understand that these types of situations create trauma. There is a lot of generational trauma and having these armed guards in the school is not going to help those situations, it's only going to make it worse and it's very crucial that we are truly looking out for the mental wellbeing of all of our children," Patterson said.
The Board of Education meeting starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday inside the Lockport Board of Education building at 130 Beattie Avenue. You can watch it via a live stream.