School Resource Officers In Every School

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 February 17, 2018

As this week's news played in the background of my mind, my home, my everyday movements, I wondered how long I had until my perceptive nine year old began looking for answers. However long I wondered, it was not long enough. Today as I softly spoke the words, “avoid, deny, defend”, barely above a whisper so as not to scare my younger children, I trembled inside at the horrifying turn the word “defense” had to make, so many times helping him with soccer plays, now active shooter scenarios. While the list of schools having experienced some form of gun violence seems to have no end in sight, these words have become a heavy truth to parents across the nation.

As a parent, I carry that heavy truth. As a teacher, I carry it tenfold. As the weeks following a school shooting linger, I pray as I enter the doors. I pray that the safe, warm and nurturing environment created so carefully by our school's team stays exactly that way. I pray that if anything or anyone dare put us in danger that we have all that we need to avoid, deny, and defend. This week I have seen, read, and heard more than ever the ways our nation could help these prayers be answered, but one stands out as being close within our reach. School Resource Officers serve as a role of counselor, social worker, teacher, and safety leader. They are full-time employees of a school, allowing them to develop relationships with students and staff unlike any other adult. They are critical to the school and community relationship and vital in times of crisis. Olean City Schools currently shares one School Resource Officer among its four buildings. The officer's salary is shared between the city and the school district, creating a necessary safety to both the city and school.

While it seems work within both state and federal levels of government is imperative to bring the 2nd amendment safely into the 21st Century, bringing a School Resource Officer into each and every school is a commitment we can make here and now. The unimaginable scene in Florida of youth begging for change is one that we can start to answer by working together within our federal, state and local governments. Please help bring a funded mandate bringing one School Resource Officer to each school in our nation.

Respectfully,

Lauren Caya



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