Westerville City Schools: A Demand for Safety of our students!

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Dr. John Kellogg and Westerville City School board:

In light of the recent school shooting in Florida, many parents across the country are becoming increasingly concerned with the safety of their children while at school. There have been many false reports lately regarding possible individuals with guns around our schools here in Westerville. These reports have made it very difficult for parents to send their students to school, difficult for children to go to school and feel safe while there, and the staff is afraid to go into school and teach our students. We as a community need to insure the safety of or students and staff, no matter the cost.  There has been a recent focus from the school board to update many buildings with media centers, cafeterias, and other cosmetic issues. Why focus on cosmetic issues when our community is demanding the focus to be placed on our students and staff’s safety?

 With that being said, I would like to start this petition to make it mandatory that Westerville City Schools have a resource officer at each building and adding metal detectors. I also would like to petition having devises such as the Barracuda door jam, for every classroom in Westerville. By taking these small steps, the safety of our students and staff members would increase greatly.  Educationworld.com has reported the following statistics regarding Resource Officers: “the first nationwide survey of school resource officers (SROs) published in 2001 indicated that many spend about half their time preventing crime and violence. More than 90% of the officers avert between one and 25 violent acts in an average school year.” This report indicates that these officers are active in schools, and provide the protection that many staff members are not equipped to handle. Reports also indicate on Educationworld.com , that “24% of officers reported taking a loaded firearm from a student or another person on campus, and 87% confiscated knives or other weapons with blades. 67% reported preventing a school faculty or staff member from being assaulted, either by a student or someone else on campus.”

 While having a resource officer at each school, this will also help to encourage students to engage in a positive manner with our Law Enforcement officers. There will be an opportunity for students to build relationships with these officers. That could also help to prevent tragedies. Students would be more likely to speak up to an officer that they have a relationship with and can trust. A Resource officer would also be able to identify signs of trouble, which many are not able to identify as easily as a Resource Officer. On the website: http://www.news-herald.com/article/HR/20130319/NEWS/303199985 A Resource officer named Chris Ivanovics from Mentor High School, stated the following: "build these relationships with students and help them... make good choices, better choices and provide guidance as needed that otherwise might not be there." Not only are the Resource officers there at a drop of a dime to help in any situation, but they also help to prevent the need to call officers off the streets (unless it is merited).

 Pulled from the same article found in news-herald.com, the description of the resource officer would be the following:

According to the Code of Laws of the United States, Title 42, Chapter 46, the title of School Resource Officer refers to a career law enforcement officer, with sworn authority, deployed in community-oriented policing and assigned by the employing police department or agency to work in collaboration with schools and community based organizations for the following purposes:

-- To address crime and disorder problems, gang and drug activities affecting or occurring in or around an elementary or secondary school

-- To develop or expand crime prevention efforts for students

-- To educate likely school-age victims in crime prevention and safety

-- To develop or expand community justice initiatives for students

-- To train students in conflict resolution, restorative justice and crime awareness

-- To assist in the identification of physical changes in the environment that may reduce crime in or around the school

-- To assist in developing school policy that addresses crime and recommend procedural changes.

 References:

School Resource Officers Seeing Results. Education World.             Connecting educators to what works. Retrieved             February,23 2018, from the World Wide Web:             http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues/issues2            14.shtml

 Bonchak, Jean (2013, March 19). Police departments, schools seeing benefits of school             resource officers.  [Newspaper article online]. Retrieved February 23, 2018, from             the World Wide Web: http://www.news            herald.com/article/HR/20130319/NEWS/303199985



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