When Scott Urkov dropped off his daughter at school, he didn’t know his attire would cause a stir.
After the police officer for the Coolidge Police Department brought his child to Entz Elementary School in Mesa, Ariz., he received a phone call from school officials asking him to not wear his uniform or carry his gun on school property anymore, KSAZ reports.
"Nothing like your kids [sic] 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?" Urkov wrote on his Facebook page following the incident.
According to school officials, the principal asked Urkov to not wear his uniform or bring his gun to school anymore. They didn’t know he was offended by the request.
"Some parents were concerned about the fact that there was a fully armed officer on campus and they spoke to the principal about it," Helen Hollands, a spokesperson for Mesa Unified School District, said.
Some parents were surprised by the request. "If my kids saw that, I think they'd feel more protected to see a man in uniform at their school," parent Blaine Spencer said.
He has since been invited to return to the school and turn the incident into a “teachable moment” and speak at a special assembly about what police officers do in the community.
But people have flooded the school district’s Facebook page with posts expressing their outrage at the school’s decision.
“When I was growing up, there were several parents dressed in police uniforms picking up their kids. Nobody freaked out because we knew that a police uniform was a good thing,” Ryan Clark wrote.
“As a police officer I would have certainly been offended if I was asked to not wear my uniform and gun while dropping off my child at school. If parents cannot distinguish a police uniform, then they need to be educated, not the officer,” David Tedrow posted.
“Would they also be offended if a firefighter comes to the school in uniform because it may make kids think there is a fire or an emergency? It shows the ignorance and lack of sound reasoning skills by the school principal and district administrators,” Tim Johnson added.
The Coolidge Police Department has not commented on the incident and reportedly told Urkov to "just let it be."
Originally from Montreal, Zoë Mintz joined IBTimes in March 2013. A graduate from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, her writing has...