CVU Looks to Hire New School Resource Officer

Mr. Sean Garey

In recent years gun violence in schools has become too common. Parents, teachers, lawmakers, and students are all demanding change. They all want safer schools. One of the methods being used to achieve this goal is a School Resource Officer (SRO).

After recent tragedies in schools across America, there has been talk of CVU hiring an SRO. An SRO is a career law enforcement officer with sworn authority. They are deployed by an employing police department or agency in a community-oriented policing assignment, to work in collaboration with one or more schools. According to the National Association of School Resource Officers, only “42 percent of public schools reported that they had at least one [School Resource Officer] present at least one day a week.” Some people ask if it is necessary for CVU to have an SRO. “NASRO recommends that every school have at least one carefully selected, specially trained school resource officer.”

Adam Bunting, principal of CVU, said the main role of an SRO in CVU would first be, “[To] build connections with students. The second would be to serve on student support teams.” An SRO will be just another connection students can have in school. The SRO will also be able to help students with problems outside of school.

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Bunting went on to say, “It’s all about getting the right person. You can’t get the wrong person. In fact I would rather not have a school resource officer than not have a good one.” He would rather not have an SRO, than have an SRO that does not work well with students and can’t become a part of the CVU community.

Bunting also said that the school resource officer would not replace our current campus supervisors. Bunting said the the school resource officer could act as a curriculum connection. The school resource officer would also act as “support for the students of CVU.”

Students say they cannot feel safe enough. One student said, “I can’t assume that something will never happen.” Alfred Wathugi said, “I feel that [school] is safe, but I feel that something could happen.” Students all like to know that they are truly safe, but they are not completely sure.

Teachers also see the reality and the need to take precautions. “I feel [school] is fairly safe,” said Troy Paradee. Peter Booth said,“Every school that has had a shooting has said that we thought it would never happen here.” School is apart of the real world in which there are dangers. CVU is  taking measures to be more careful.

This begs the question, what are schools doing to prevent tragedies? Tim Albertson explains the changes that have been made to improve school safety, “All the exterior doors are locked and campus supervisors see everyone that comes in and out. There are also no classes in the annex.” Paradee said, “I do not think we need a SRO. I think we are well staffed with the campus supervisors we have now.”

As of September 18th, the school board has determined that the cost of a school resource officer is not too much to pay and not too great a measure to take to provide a safer place for students and staff.