BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As school threats spike across Maryland, including two in the Baltimore area Friday, educators across the state push back against President Donald Trump’s calls to arm 20 percent of teachers nationwide.
In most of the cases in the last 10 days, police found no credible threat. But it’s keeping police busy and teachers talking.
The copy cats in Maryland keep coming as the state has seen more than 15 recent school threats.
Baltimore County Police responded to Lansdowne High School on Friday morning after a Snapchat post described the Parkland shooting suspect as a “brother” and promised more victims.
Another post targeted Lindale Middle School and put staff and parents on high-alert.
Two Harford County students were charged Friday after police say they wrote a threatening message on a desktop at the school.
“All across America, we are seeing copycat stuff. We are seeing invalid threats come in, but every threat is going to be investigated as if it were real to make sure that it’s not,” said Officer Jennifer Peach of the Baltimore County Police Department.
Incidents like these are fueling President Trump’s calls to arm teachers in classrooms — even firing off a string of tweets defending the idea Thursday.
“We have to harden our schools, not soften them up,” he said.
But some Maryland educators are firing back against the move.
“We didn’t get in this profession to be their security guards. We got in this profession to teach, and that’s what we want to do,” said Betty Weller of the Maryland State Education Association.
Weller says many teachers would rather find another career than carry a gun.
“I think the solution is really having our elected officials work harder to provide the resources that our kids need to meet them where they are. We need more counselors, we need more school psychologists,” she said.
The overwhelming caseloads of school counselors, she believes, is partly to blame for the spike in threats nationwide.
“They’re traumatizing the kids, is what I’m saying. It’s really traumatizing them,” said Jim Reed, a grandparent of a Lansdowne High student.
The president isn’t the only one calling for guns in classrooms. A bill will go in front of the Maryland legislature early next month to give Maryland teachers the right to bear arms.