One Midlands parents group is urging their school board to immed - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

One Midlands parents group is urging their school board to immediately place SROs in every school

(Source: AP Graphics) (Source: AP Graphics)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Earlier this afternoon, the Richland Two Black Parents Association has announced they are calling on the Richland Two School Board and administration to immediately place school resource officers in every school.

They said, in part "while our high schools have school resource officers that are there to protect our students, our elementary schools do not have their own school resource officers. We are calling upon Richland School District 2 to follow the same course as Richland School District 1 and Lexington-Richland 5 and place a school resource officer in every school in the district."

A number of threats have been made to schools across the Midlands since the shooting that killed 17 in Parkland, FL. All of the threats have been investigated and none of them have been deemed credible. 

Richland Two Superintendent Dr. Baron Davis was in the WIS studios on Tuesday and discussed safety in his schools. 

"I think that, in times like this, we become more focused. It's the times when these issues are not front and center that we must remain committed and dedicated to security and safety at all times," Davis said. "And so, we practice our safety procedures. As of this school year, as a matter of fact, one of the first things that we did was to make sure that we instituted our active shooters drills, at all of our schools and made that our priority to make that our first drill in Richland 2."

In response to the group's statement, Richland Two School Board of Trustees Chairman Craig Plank issued this statement, saying: "As a board, we join the rest of the nation in sending our most heartfelt and deepest sympathy to the Florida victims of last week’s school shooting. School, student, and teacher safety continues to be a top priority in Richland Two. Our board and administration regularly review our district-wide school safety protocols and we remain welcome to all potential options and suggestions to improve school safety in Richland Two. "

The full statement from the Black Parents Association says: 

The recent tragedy that has unfolded in Florida is yet another reminder of how vulnerable our schools, students, and teachers are when it comes to school violence. Just in the last 2 weeks and since the shooting in Florida we have experienced our own incidents of violence and threats at Jackson Creek, Blythewood High, and Westwood High In our own School District, Richland School District 2.

And while our high schools have school resource officers that are there to protect our students, our elementary schools DO NOT have their own school resource officers. We are calling upon Richland School District 2 to follow the same course as Richland School District 1 and Lexington-Richland 5 and place a school resource officer in every school in the district.
 
While we recognize this is not the panacea for quelling school violence for our school district, we do acknowledge that no school in Richland School District 2 should be without a modicum of protection.

We also stand by our insistence that the school resource officers duties should be limited to the protection of the campus and not to the policing of the students, or the engagement in administrative duties of a school. We urge the board and the administration to move on placing a school resource officer in every school in the district for the protection of our students, and we support the district moving with all deliberate speed to do so. 
 
Comprehensive school safety should also include the securing of our school entrances during and after school. Access to school buildings needs to be via a buzzer system where those approaching a facility have to be granted access. These are measures that are already in place in neighboring districts. As a follow-up, research has shown that many of these school incidences are the result of the actions of disgruntled students.

This speaks to a need for us to develop a clinical solution and protocols that facilitate resources and actions that proactively addresses the mental health of students; targets restorative services for those identified as at-risk of taking these actions, and more aggressive protocols for dealing with the issue of bullying that still, unfortunately, plagues the social interactions of our students. 

Copyright 2018 WIS. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly