Shaquille O’Neal recently proposed a “quick fix” on how to stop school shootings.
“I think the quick fix now is the government should give law enforcement more money and you recruit more people, and those guys that are not ready to go on the streets, you put them in front of the schools,” the one-time Laker and NBA analyst for TNT said on WABC radio’s “Curtis and Cosby” show on Wednesday. “You put them in front of the schools, you put them behind the schools, you put them inside the schools.”
Shaq believes a gun ban won’t be enough to stop heinous tragedies like the February 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Shaq’s comments are, well, out of bounds, with some of the arguments made by activists across the nation in recent years. Questions about increasing police presence in schools have been raised, particularly concerning the effects on students of color. Many videotaped physical confrontations between students of color and officers have been brought to national attention.
“The first time a lot of black and brown children experience police violence is in a school building,” activist and Teach For America leader Brittany Packnett, said according to The Washington Post. “The first place that our children learn to fear police, learn they’re controlled instead of empowered, is in a school building.”
Packnett’s comments were cited by The Post after a South Carolina student was violently thrown across a room and arrested by an officer in late 2015, an incident that prompted national uproar, an FBI and a Department of Justice investigation. These arguments about police presence affecting Black students may also arise as part of discussions around Shaq’s latest comments.