According to some students at a Portland public school, school resource officers (SROs) on campus make students feel unsafe and “contribute to an environment of fear and distrust.”
KATU 2 reports that more than a dozen pupils walked out of their classrooms at 9 a.m. Thursday to protest a recent decision by the Portland Public School Board. In December, the board approved an agreement to put SROs on campus more frequently. Instead of four days a week, an officer will be present Monday through Friday.
— Genevieve Reaume (@GenevieveReaume) January 2, 2019
Due to the increase in the officers’s presence, the school will now have to fund the officer, and students believe that the funds would be better utilized elsewhere.
In one YouTube video shared under the account NoSROs Pdx, one student said, “I feel like it’s taking away funding from things that could actually increase a safe environment, like psychologists and therapists.”
According to NPR, school-based policing is one of the fastest growing areas of law enforcement, but the debate of police making schools safer is still ongoing.
There’s no evidence that supports the theory that police in schools results in safer campuses. Marc Schindler, head of the Justice Policy Institute, told NPR, “In fact, the data really shows otherwise — that this is largely a failed approach in devoting a significant amount of resources but not getting the outcome in school safety that we are all looking for.”
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