PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh school officials have joined a group of advocates opposing a plan to have armed officers check fares on the city’s light rail.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the school board sent a letter Nov. 17 to incoming Port Authority CEO Katherine Kelleman saying the plan could lead to confrontations between officers and students with difficulties speaking English.

The transit agency previously announced it would use armed officers when the light-rail system went cashless in July. But the cashless rollout has been delayed until April due to equipment problems.

Under the plan, fare evasion would qualify as a criminal offense. School board members argue this could lead to deportations for immigrant students.

Kelleman says the issue will likely be the first thing on her plate when she starts in January.

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