BOE Meets With SROs

GCS Board members met yesterday with School Resource Officers countywide to further the issue of whether SROs are needed in middle and high schools or not. And it sounds like they got an earful, according to today’s HP Enterprise. Click here for the article.

An excerpt:

During a meeting Friday with the Guilford County Board of Education, a group of school resource officers reported that the prevalence of gangs on school campuses create violent sit­uations between students. In particular, black males are committing violations as a result of such gang activity, several officers said.
The “open and blatant” behavior of black stu­dents, one SRO explained, contributes to the disproportionate number that are suspended and subsequently arrested each school year.
“There are definitely behaviors of black males that are not acceptable in the school sys­tem like (foul) language and challenging au­thority. There is a disconnect, and we are not getting the message to males that this is not acceptable in the school setting. It may be fine in the streets or at the mall … in schools, it’s disrespectful,” said Tony Scales, school safety officer for the district.

I’ll take that one step further, Tony Scales, for I don’t think that type of behavior is acceptable anywhere and students need to understand that. It is almost a type of behavior modification that needs to be taught as to what kind of behavior is acceptable in school and what isn’t.

Here’s more:

Board member Amos Quick said the meeting was helpful in addressing concerns from the community that black students are unfairly targeted by school-based cops.
“There is a perception that exists – and you all know this – that black males are being targeted. If there is a racial dynamic to (sus­pensions), we need to know that. If it is a le­gitimate problem, we can’t fix it by avoiding,” Quick said.
High Point police Chief Jim Fealy attended the meeting on behalf of his SROs, refuting perceptions about race-based policing. “To a large degree, our clients are chosen for us, not by us,” he said.
The task force could help the school system avoid an “us versus them” situation, Quick said, among the community and police offi­cers.

Chief Fealy has a good point, which is paramount for law enforcement. See, this is a part of a larger issue involving discipline (or lack of) in our schools and the only way it will be addressed properly is from the top down. New policies should be examined and existing policies should be tightened and enforced. It is sad that a student should be allowed to curse out a teacher with only a slap on the hand as punishment. And I continue to think this is not a racial issue. Our SROs are needed from a safety and security standpoint and they continue to be an asset to our schools. Please stop the politics of this discussion.

E.C. 🙂

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