Police and security guards are unfortunately a part of many of our schools. Their purpose is to protect, and well, secure. But what happened in South Carolina went way too far.
The News Journal is twisting their recent articles to support Governor Markell’s desire to remove SROs from public schools and shift towards mall security type support aka eyes and ears for traditional police. You’ll see, Markell will be getting in the conversation. HOWEVER, the News Journal isn’t telling you this, “The officer is responsible for investigating all crimes that occur within the schools. In addition the SRO serves as an informal counselor and a teacher / guest speaker in classrooms.” There is an EDUCATION COMPONENT !
The conversation shouldn’t be about the existence of SROs in our schools but rather the limitations in their role. The liability risk for teachers and / or school staff that physically intervene is redirecting disruptive student is great! Touching students in any manner is getting to be taboo! But what the News Journals fails to tell the public is, in most cases the SRO are summoned after school staff intervenes and its to a point of possible physical restraint or redirection is necessary. However, many times when the SRO arrives the student will “chill out”.
Delaware legislators should step-back and support limitation on SROs role in decision when to arrests and press charge! Do note, when a police officer handcuffs and individual doesn’t constitute an arrest. The SROs has a responsible to defuse the situation and the policy of arrest or charges. The SROs should help defuse disruptive students but as long as that disruption isn’t physical in nature or threatening to the extent of terrorist threatening whereas student is acting-out verbally the question of charges of disorderly conduct should be solely a school administrative decision. In a nutshell our legislator need to define the line between disruptive student behavior within the scope of school discipline policies that have set student consequences such as detention or suspension or expulsion. HOWEVER, we’re back to legal liability issues. For school administrators it’s easier to let the SRO call the shots re: arrest and when physical restraint is needed. In other word, school administrator pussy-out when it’s time to get physical with disruptive students and transfer the burden and legal liability onto the SRO. The incident sparking the News Journal’s unqualified opinion was just that, school officials called in the SRO who dragged the student out of her chair. The point of talking the girl out of the classroom expired. So it was time for the school principle to call in the enforcer! Why didn’t the principle or teacher try to physically remove the defiant student? LIABILITY. What would of happen is there was no SRO in that school?
The News Journal is full of shit! Have they taken the time to talk with the police such as The State Police and get feedback from their perspective? Jumping on the bandwagon during the hype of open season of police because of a handful of officers in America who cross the line isn’t fair to those officers serving within the rules and laws they’ve taking an oath to. Gannett should be ashamed of themselves!