Abington School Board member's comments on cops in schools prompts outrage

Tim Jimenez
February 05, 2020 - 8:18 am

ABINGTON, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — An Abington School Board member, who caused an uproar with controversial comments about police officers in schools last month, apologized at a meeting last night.

School board meetings typically take place at district headquarters, but because of all the attention and interest, Tuesday night’s meeting took place at Abington Senior High School’s auditorium.

"At the last school board meeting, I made divisive and inflammatory comments on law enforcement that I regret and am deeply sorry about," Abington school board member Dr. Tamar Klaiman said.

At the Jan. 21 meeting, Klaiman expressed concern about the safety of anyone, even officers, being armed in schools.

"We know that black and brown students are much more likely to be shot by police officers, especially school resource officers, than other students," she said at the time.

The comment sparked outrage, not only from community members but from people around the country. The National Fraternal Order of Police came out against Klaiman’s comments. 

Klaiman said she has received "vile and personal attacks" since that Jan. 21 meeting.

On Tuesday night, some in the crowd called for her resignation. 

"To have that person with that much hate and divide in their heart is not a good fit for the Abington school board," one woman said during a public comment portion of the meeting. 

Others, in support, said she opened up a conversation on an important issue. Abington Police Chief Patrick Molloy said he accepted Klaiman’s apology but told CBS 3 her comments were hurtful.

"This really did tear our community apart. I am a very proud, professional police officer. We reject that type of rhetoric," Molloy said.

The school district has two school resource officers, and they received a standing ovation during Tuesday's meeting.