It’s no secret that educators have faced a nearly impossible task over the past two years. Even before the pandemic changed the way school was done, teachers were often heralded as overworked, underpaid heroes.
Now, many schools are facing a crisis as teachers have gotten sick or retired early and substitutes are hard to find, leaving parents in a bind as they try to continue their own work lives as well as their children’s education.
One public school system in Moore, Oklahoma, found a unique temporary solution.
“Moore PD is a proud community partner of Moore Public Schools,” the Moore Police Department posted on Facebook on Jan. 18. “This week, several on-duty officers are serving in the classroom as schools continue to face teacher and staff shortages.”
“We are thankful to be able to assist our community during these difficult times.”
Police Chief Todd R. Gibson said the officers volunteered for the gig and are not getting paid anything apart from their normal salary for taking on the job.
“Police officers did not have to participate, they chose to,” Gibson told Fox News. “These officers are deeply connected to the community and the schools. They always enjoy the opportunity to interact with the future of our community in a helpful way.”
Moore police officers step in as substitutes. pic.twitter.com/7vBZs9Y1Mp
— Abigail Ogle (@KOCOAbigail) January 18, 2022
Gibson also explained that the police department was still operating as normal and that it is not currently experiencing any staff shortages.
“We just can’t say thank you enough for our Moore Police Department answering the call today inside of our schools in a completely different way!” Moore Public Schools wrote on Facebook. “Your service was brilliant today, and our MPS students got to see and experience your compassion for their community in action!”
The post by MPD has gotten a variety of responses, from grateful locals thanking the officers for stepping in to people questioning their qualifications and decision to not wear masks.
“Thank you so very much Moore Police Department!” one commenter wrote. “You truly helped us out so much today! My students saw you around the school and thought it was so cool! You are amazing!!!”
“Thank you!” another said. “You saved us today!! Our students thought this was the coolest thing!”
“Do parents have the option of opting out from having armed officers in classrooms with their children?” one naysayer commented. “No thanks!!”
“As a teacher who caught Covid at school and was out sick last week, I’m appalled to see these officers unmasked in the classroom,” another added.
“Sounds like this community should have invested more in teachers and school staff, instead of having officers in uniform with guns that are not qualified to teach standing over kids trying to learn,” a third said.
It’s clear that our education system is facing staffing trouble that won’t be going away any time soon, and there’s no easy fix. What do you think of this temporary measure?
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.