Over the coming days, the London Police Association will be sharing some important stories from a variety of perspectives, regarding a program that our members care deeply about.
That program is the School Resource Officer program, otherwise known as SROs.
School Resource Officers are police officers who are placed in every school in our community. They help to ensure a healthy and safe environment for students to study, learn, and grow.
These officers are not security guards. They are not standing guard at the doors. They’re not looking through backpacks or making arrests.
These school resource officers are building positive relationships with students both inside and outside of the schools.
They help students when they’re in trouble and have nowhere else to turn. They help teach students important lessons about life and the obstacles that may arise during their youth.
School Resource Officers teach our kids about real issues present in schools today that may cause stress or danger. Issues like being pressured into sexting, drug and alcohol abuse, cyberbullying, and human trafficking.
SRO’s build proactive, positive relationships with students and help prevent and deter problems before they happen.
Recently, both of London’s School Boards have decided to “review” the SRO program.
The London Police Association was not asked to be a part of this review, but the research and testimony provided by School Resource Officers, teachers, parents, academics, and most importantly the students themselves, tells us everything we need to know about this program.
The best way for SROs to serve our community is by doing what they do best inside our local schools: building relationships, listening, learning, and teaching.
There are some that suggest the mere presence of an officer in a uniform causes feelings of fear, intimidation, even trauma. For the officers who put on a uniform and swear an oath to put themselves in front of anyone and anything that threatens harm, nothing could be more disheartening.
Taking police out of schools will not help improve relations between police officers and students. Nor will it help students overcome any fears or concerns they may have.
We don’t address the fears of our children by just wishing something to go away.
We talk to them. We have an honest, frank dialogue about what is causing that fear. And we address that fear.
In the case of SROs, we have honest, frank conversations with students about the source of their fears.
We come to an understanding and build relationships through positive experiences and common goals. We learn from each other.
SROs are more than willing to have conversations, address those fears, and overcome them in time. We are prepared to make that investment. But none of that can happen if police are simply not there.
At a time when we’re all looking to make progress in the face of adversity, cancelling the SRO program would be a needless step backwards.
It’s not the answer.
If you agree that School Resource Officers should stay in our schools, SIGN THE PETITION.
Let the politicians know exactly where you stand. Or, trust me, this decision will be made for you.
There are a number of other ways to get involved. Share this video and the others that you’ll be seeing over the coming weeks. Use #ProSRO and share your stories about your own positive experiences with SROs.
We hope you will join us in ensuring that School Resource Officers still have an opportunity to engage positively and proactively with students in their schools here in London.
It is time for the voices of parents, teachers, students, and community members like you, to be heard by our elected officials.