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A needed hard look at school resource officers

A portion of a recent bill proposed at the Connecticut General Assembly, HB 6535, seeks to analyze the roles of school resource officers. I am in favor of this bill as many schools with students of color are consistently targeted by SROs due to the color of their skin, thus enforcing the school-to-prison pipeline, especially in schools with lower incomes. New London County schools have a high number of minority students, and it is important that our SROs do not cross the line between protective and oppressive. However, with an increase of shootings occurring across the country, safety measures must be put in place to ensure that all students are safe in their schools. I believe SROs should not be removed entirely, but instead they should focus less on policing and more on connecting with the students and their communities, while also keeping the schools safe.

I understand many SROs are retired police officers, state troopers, and veterans. I have deep sincere respect for these individuals. However, I would like to see their roles reanalyzed in order for all students, despite income or color, to feel welcomed, supported, comfortable, and safe. New London County residents should advocate for this bill to keep our children safe.

Rachel Anthony

East Lyme

 

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