Questioning SROs’ role in SPPS

GEb9w-6goRndMZxp8_jhQ_D8ROZxy3hHKZ7nrhNaH3nkV8bdTQ8Q491VUISSPzLU3olXNZWZH7AWZ9DLj_u0tRi2mWfs2sA41l1QzWDKz1_8Hkzcuc9-yCT-aztOECA25CASdMOGIn a recent Pioneer Press article, it was stated that chair of Saint Paul Public School Board, Mary Doran had proposed the idea to remove student resource officers from all Saint Paul Public Schools. This proposal created controversy, especially in light of the recent events around SPPS. Just within the past 4 months of the 2015-16 school year, SPPS has faced many dangerous incidents. This includes;

  • A loaded handgun found at Harding High School
  • An officer punched in the face breaking up a fight at Harding High School
  • An outbreak of fights with 10+ students involved at Como Park High School
  • A student at Central High School tasered for refusing to leave class
  • And the most recent event, a staff member hospitalized after trying to break up a fight at Central High School

With the occurrence of these events, many people believe that removing all student resource officers (SROs) would only make schools a more dangerous place to learn. The SRO budget is currently $854,000 to pay for nine resource officers within the district. This money is from the school district budget provided by education funding from the government. Although removing these officers would save money and help with budget cuts, many people believe that their presence within the schools is essential. The removal could elevate the situation and make our schools more dangerous without strong reinforcement present at all times.

One reason Ms. Doran supposedly questioned the presence of SROs in our schools is because earlier this year, an officer at Spring Valley High in South Carolina assaulted a student. Since then there has been much talk about the benefits and disadvantages SROs bring to schools around America.

After contacting Ms. Doran, she claims that the reporter simply misinterpreted her proposal, and that she just meant to start a conversation between students about their opinions of their school officers. She also claims that she does not wish to remove all SROs, and in fact she firmly believes their presence in schools is much needed in light of these recent events.

In the Pioneer Press article, the reporter said, “Evidently, you have some doubts as to whether SROs are a strictly positive presence in St. Paul schools“, but Mrs. Doran claims that nothing she said lead to that conclusion. She also claims these were false assumptions with no evidence. In summary, she believes that officers are important for the safety of students and teachers within the school, and they will not be removed.

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