A Long Island man terrified students and others by pulling out a knife to demonstrate why he believed schools should have armed security guards.
The man took out the pocket knife during a face-to-face confrontation with a student Wednesday during a public meeting in Rocky Point on school safety, reported Newsday.
“I’m considerably larger than you, OK?” the man tells the student in cell phone video recorded during the incident. “If something happened, if I decided to attack you, it would take the cops three to five minutes to come here — probably 10 if the traffic’s bad.”
The man, whose name was not released, apparently disagreed with 17-year-old senior Jade Pinkenberg, who spoke up during the school board meeting to argue against arming teachers.
“What are you going to do now?” the man says, as the teen backs away.
Pinkenburg’s father and others shouted to tell the man to stop, and school security escorted the man out of the meeting.
“I had no idea what was happening,” Pinkenburg said. “He was in my face a bit and I didn’t know what he was about to do. When I realized, I kind of jumped back. My legs got weak and my heart was beating fast.”
School officials asked the school resource officer to file a report with police, who are investigating the incident.
“A parent in attendance attempted to conduct a demonstration to reinforce his belief that all school districts” should have armed security guards,” said superintendent Michael Ring in a statement to parents. “While the district firmly acknowledges that the demonstration was ill-conceived and inappropriate for the venue, we believe that the act was not intended to compromise the safety of those in attendance.”
Some students were angry about how school officials handled the parent’s demonstration compared to their own earlier that same day, when some were suspended for taking part in the national school walkout.
“I protested peacefully this morning and got suspended,” student Jo Herman tweeted. “A man threatened a kid with a knife at a PTA meeting and got gently escorted from the school. Show me the logic.”
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