The Pros And Cons Of School Resource Officers
December 27th, 2018
School resource officers in Austin, TX, often SROs for short, are trained law enforcement agents that serve designated schools. These representatives are usually members of the local police department, state police, or county sheriff. They get paid via the company they are employed by, the school district, or sometimes, a combination of both. With so much violence in the world today, particularly in and around schools, these institutions have to do something to make the learning environments safe again.
Sadly, nobody has a clear answer as to what needs to be done though. Some districts in Austin, TX are installing cameras, metal detectors, and access control systems. A few are considering arming the teachers, and others are employing more SROs. The latter seems to be one of the most effective. Hence, readers should stick around to learn about the pros and cons associated with school resource officers.
Pro 1: SROs Can Serve As Educators And Counselors
Teachers can bring the officers into the classrooms to be guest lecturers. They can talk about things such as the job, substance abuse, sexual harassment, and more. Often, when kiddos hear things from the instructor, the phrases go in one ear and right out the other. However, pupils may be more inclined to listen when the words are coming from a law enforcement official.
Also, having an SRO on campus gives students a place to turn in times of crisis. The pupils might not be comfortable discussing the matters with a teacher, principal, or counselor. Hence, an SRO gives them another place to turn to talk about drugs, alcohol, dating awareness, or other common teen issues.
Pro 2: SROs Provide Feelings Of Safety And Security
The primary reason why kiddos are at school is to learn. However, it can be hard for them to study and do their best if they are continually hiding from trouble. Bullies can be lurking in bathrooms, around corners, or anywhere. Having an SRO on campus will keep most students walking a straight path. They will be less inclined to act up or misbehave. In turn, the school becomes a safer place for everyone. Plus, if a pupil does lash out, the official is on-site to quickly put a stop to the action and dish out punishments.
Con 1: Use Of Force
For the most part, the pros of having an SRO on campus far outweigh the cons. However, there is one particular con that needs to be discussed. On some occasions, these law enforcement officials have been known to cross the line when it comes to the use of force. They apply the same tactics to take down students as they do to fight violent criminals. This action leads to the pupil receiving physical injuries and psychological damage.
As such, the learner, or their guardians, tend to file grievances and lawsuits against the district and the employing entity. The SRO can get suspended without pay or even lose his or her job from such instances. Do some research on your own before determining if you are for or against SROs on campus. This legwork will assist you in making an informed decision about whether your district needs one of these officials or not.