School Safety: To Plan, or Not to Plan.........

26 Oct 2015 17:40 #231 by ZHawke
This is very troubling....very troubling, indeed.

There's been a viral video circulating on social media about an SRO in South Carolina who threw a young girl down and handcuffed her in a classroom.

Video embedded:
Video shows confrontation between Spring Valley student and school resource officer

It would appear the police officer in the video is an actual SRO according to the article. If that is, in fact, true, then what he did in this instance appears to be an over-reaction and, pending further investigation, appropriate action(s) need to be taken. Also, if a further investigation shows this officer over-reacted (and it certainly appears that he did), these are the kinds of instances where school safety is put at risk because of a bad apple in the ranks of dedicated SROs across the country who do their jobs and do them very well all day every day.

I've been an ardent supporter and defender of the SRO program in the past. That will not change anytime soon. But incidents like this add more fuel to the fire for those who would do away with SROs because they don't want a police presence in our schools.

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27 Oct 2015 12:09 #232 by ZHawke
Follow-up on the ongoing story involving an SRO incident in a school in South Carolina:

Interview with Mo Canady, Executive Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers:

CNN Interview With Mo Canady

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27 Oct 2015 22:38 #233 by jf1acai
Based upon the information that the SRO was asked by school administration to remove the student from the class, I don't think the SRO did anything wrong.

The student was not injured.

Students must learn that there are consequences for refusing to obey orders.

Experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again - Jeanne Pincha-Tulley

Comprehensive is Latin for there is lots of bad stuff in it - Trey Gowdy

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28 Oct 2015 08:48 - 28 Oct 2015 08:50 #234 by ZHawke
Some additional information on the SRO incident in South Carolina:

Sheriff Says 'Third Video' Shows South Carolina Student Punching Officer in Classroom

Whether it does or does not actually show this to have happened, my takeaway from this article is that the Department of Justice and the FBI have both been asked by local authorities to further investigate the incident. To me, that means there is probable cause the SRO may have overstepped his responsibilities as an SRO in this incident.

Additionally, SRO standards apparently differ from state to state. I haven't yet seen anything regarding standards for SROs in South Carolina. I'll try to do some further research and will share if I find anything.

The problem with all of this, as I see it, isn't whether or not the student obeyed or disobeyed a lawful order -- she apparently did not comply with the SRO's request(s). Whether his request(s) actually constitute "lawful order", or not, remains to be determined. Rather, it's whether or not the SRO stepped outside what he was actually supposed to do when he was asked to remove this student from the classroom. Depending on the standards under which he performs his job duties, he could have deferred to school administrators to carry out school discipline which is something they, not law enforcement, are tasked with in their own job responsibilities. The incident, in general, also begs the question whether she was engaged in unlawful activity, especially that would justify her arrest, much less the treatment she received. Based on what I've read, South Carolina has a law on the books that allows arrest for "disturbing school":

Disturbing Schools Law for South Carolina .

This may be the SROs ticket out of the quagmire he currently finds himself in. Time will tell.

SROs, in most situations, are held to a different standard than most certified law enforcement officers from what I understand. The National Association of School Resource Officers is kind of considered the "go to" standard for similar programs that do not actually participate in the NASRO program (such as South Carolina). The NASRO standards can be viewed here:

NASRO Position Statement on Police Involvement in Student Discipline

If it is found that the SRO acted within the standards set by the state of South Carolina, then this is another in a line of incidents that will ultimately be used by those of a more liberal, anti-gun persuasion to take the police completely out of their schools. I believe that would be a huge mistake in the school safety arena.

From what I've seen, this is setting up to be a "no-win" scenario for everyone involved in school safety.

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28 Oct 2015 10:46 #235 by ZHawke

S.C. Sheriff's Deputy Is Fired After Review Of High School Student's Arrest

There's a lot of info in this article that goes directly to what's being put forward about departmental policy and the role of law enforcement in schools as applies to South Carolina, specifically.

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28 Oct 2015 11:06 - 28 Oct 2015 11:07 #236 by ZHawke
Just found this for the state of South Carolina:

SECTION 5-7-12. School resource officers; procedures for certain arrests; jurisdiction; employment rights.

From the law:

For purposes of this section, a "school resource officer" is defined as a person who is a sworn law enforcement officer pursuant to the requirements of any jurisdiction of this State, who has completed the basic course of instruction for School Resource Officers as provided or recognized by the National Association of School Resource Officers or the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy (emphasis mine), and who is assigned to one or more school districts within this State to have as a primary duty the responsibility to act as a law enforcement officer, advisor, and teacher for that school district.

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29 Oct 2015 09:55 #237 by ZHawke
Finally, an article with some "subject matter experts" weighing in on what happened in that classroom in South Carolina. This article goes directly to what's being discussed about the role of, responsibilities of, and job qualifications of School Resource Officers.

Controversial video raises questions about role of school resource officers

A very worthwhile read, IMO.

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07 Nov 2015 12:22 - 07 Nov 2015 12:25 #238 by ZHawke
VERY well written article on the role of School Resource Officers. From the article:

**** New policies in Colorado are often touted as a progressive approach. A 2012 revision in the state’s education statute set minimum requirements for SROs, so the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training Board developed an SRO curriculum. ****

While this is great, there are far too many states that fall short. There's an embedded map in this article that shows states with laws on the books requiring SRO training. Is your state one of them? If not, should it be?

Why So Few School Cops Are Trained to Work With Kids

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04 Dec 2015 17:49 #239 by ZHawke
As is too often the case in emergency management, response is the phase that receives the highest degree of focus because it is arguably the most visible. Following the travesty known as Columbine, the victim assistants kind of flew by the seat of their pants simply because no one, not anyone, had ever seen or been involved in anything like this before. That isn't to say they did a bad job. Quite the contrary. But I don't believe they had these kind of guidelines available to them in their own planning processes beforehand.

All that being said, this toolkit may be a result of that travesty along with many others that have happened before and since. As the message from the director states:

OVC would like to thank the many states and communities around the country for their substantial contributions to this toolkit as well as the numerous organizations that permitted their talented staff to provide input at our stakeholder forums. Your voices were heard and your thoughts were incorporated into the toolkit to ensure we had the most comprehensive understanding of the issues you faced.

That statement, in and of itself, tells me subject matter experts were not only sought out for help in developing this toolkit, but their input, ideas, suggestions, and recommendations were listened to and incorporated.

Now they're making their "product" available to anyone and everyone free of charge. It's up to everyone responsible for victim advocacy to take advantage of this resource and apply it to their own situations as appropriate.

Thanks to the Office For Victims of Crime for not only doing this, but also for making it available to everyone.

Office For Victims of Crime

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22 Feb 2016 21:57 #240 by ScienceChic
Sorry for the lack of heads-up time, I just saw this from 9News :
After a four-month-long investigation asking all 178 Colorado school districts about their active-shooter preparedness, 9Wants To Know found not all Colorado schools train their students for an active shooter event, not every school does regular drills, and no one is checking if they are. If you have any questions about the investigation, or your child’s school district you can ask Anastasiya Bolton and Jefferson County Schools security director John McDonald now. The full investigation will air on 9NEWS at 10 tonight.

"Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.” -King T'Challa, Black Panther

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. ~Winston Churchill

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