The Termination of Joe Ferrara
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While one cannot deny the importance of a School resource officer in schools with frequent fights, heavy drug use, and gang activities, the necessity of one in the East Aurora School District is simply not there. The current School Resource Officer at East Aurora, Joe Ferrara, at most, has played the role of teaching one of many components of a middle school health class. He used intimidation instead of information which wildly reduces the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. program. The reason he never does more than this is because the blue ribbon school district he is currently employed at needs no more service than that. The school district is one of the strongest public school systems in the state and no students would feel less safe without Mr. Ferrara. While being an irrelevant and expensive member of staff is bad enough, when Mr. Ferrara is presented with the rare task where he may be able to help the district he fails miserably. There is no better example of this then the East Aurora High School snow day sit in that took place December 12th. Students, who felt unsafe with the brutal weather conditions outside, were peacefully chanting snow day with the goal of reaching the attention of the administration. Unfortunately instead of calmly speaking with the administration, they were met with the school resource officer. Mr. Ferrara responded to the peaceful protest by yelling at the students to stop chanting and threatening arrest. One student then proceeded to tell Mr. Ferarra “we're not safe” to which Mr. Ferarra responded by elevating the situation to physical contact, forcefully grabbing the student and saying “I'm going to arrest you for public disturbance”. The student informed Mr. Ferrara that he would not be acting within the law if he were to arrest him. Mr. Ferrara replied with snarky comments about how the student is not a lawyer then dragged the student away to the office against his will. The student then proceeded to record the school resource officer because of how threatened and unsafe he felt. On tape Mr. Ferrara denied saying he was going to arrest the student. Mr. Ferrara responded to a peaceful protest with assault and forced a student against his will into the office and kept him there. The force this school resource officer, who is supposed to help the student body feel safe, inflicted on this student is disturbing. East Aurora as a community, student body, and school district would be very foolish to keep wasting huge sums of money on an unnecessary position, especially since the person in that position completely negates the purpose of that job in the first place which is unconditional safety. A large amount of students are now aware of these threats and unnecessary physical force exerted on a student; therefore, making them feel unsafe and openly expressing such.
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