Violence in schools is escalating to record highs. With that in mind, it would seem that most parents would be heartened by the sight of a police officer, in full uniform and armed, dropping off and picking up his child every morning and afternoon at an elementary school. Not so at Entz Elementary School in Mesa, Ariz., where this police dad was actually contacted by the school principal with a simple message: Leave your uniform and gun at home.
MSN News carried the Oct. 2 story of officer Scott Urkov from the Coolidge Police Department. Parents who also have children enrolled at the school were evidently upset by the sight of an armed man on campus.
“There were some parents who were concerned about that fact that there was a fully armed officer on campus and they spoke to the principal about it,” said Helen Hollands, spokesperson for Mesa Unified School District.
In response, the school principal reached out to Urkov and “asked” him not to come to school in his work uniform.
Shortly after, the officer posted a rather unprofessional mini-rant on his Facebook page:
Nothing like your kids school calling and asking if I could not come to pick up my daughter in uniform cause parents were concerned when their kids came home telling them there was a man at school with a gun. Are you freaking kidding me? –Officer Scott Urkov.
While the parents who complained have chosen to remain anonymous, other parents have stepped forward in support of the officer.
"Well I was a little surprised," said parent Blaine Spencer. "I think that it's his right to wear that in public."
Mesa Unified School District officials say they didn't realize that their request would upset the officer, saying he must have taken the conversation the “wrong way.” Really?
“We apologize that he took the discussion the wrong way perhaps; that was not the intent of the principal to offend him,” said Hollands.
“Even if my kids saw that I think they'd feel more protected to see a man in uniform at their school,” said Spencer.
School officials are working hard to make amends in light of the story going viral. They have asked officer Urkov to come back to the school, in uniform, and speak at a class assembly on the role of policemen and woman in their community.