Temporarily Suspend the Placement of Police in Our Middle Schools
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"Please join with other parents in asking that the SRO program be temporarily suspended until community concerns are addressed and best practices are put into place."
On August 28th, D64 Board of Education voted to place uniformed police officers (SROs) into Park Ridge middle schools, Lincoln and Emerson. The issue was first proposed, in abstract, to the school board in late July. One month later, without a public meeting to invite input and discussion with families, the plan was voted into place at that meeting. This was after 30 minutes of discussion.
When a Board Member asked if there were any "negatives" to a SRO Program that they should take into consideration, Dr.Heinz and the officer in attendance answered, "No. There are only positives." This is blatantly false. As just one example, the above photos are of a 10-year old autistic child being handcuffed and arrested in Florida. Even NASRO (National Association for School Resource Officers) acknowledges known risks and negative outcomes associated with SRO programs. NASRO cautions school districts to have very comprehensive policies in place to prevent these occurrences. Known risks were not discussed before the vote was taken on the 28th, and have yet to be discussed. Efforts of parents to raise these concerns and ask for a voice in determining the draft policies have been refused.
The procedures used by D64 to establish this program are in direct conflict with the best practices published by the DOE, DOJ, and even the National Association for School Resource Officers. Please join with other parents in asking that the program be temporarily suspended until community concerns are addressed, and best practices are put into place. Without very clear and detailed policies, this program has the potential to do more harm than good. Even those who support the idea of SROs in schools should be concerned that our district has not taken proper measures to craft a comprehensive, transparent policy. Please ask that the program be halted until this can be accomplished.
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