Save our School Resource Officers in District 34
District 34 must cut the budget by 3.2 million dollars. The proposed scenario includes eliminating the two resource officers, Officer Smith at Attea and Officer Harlow at Springman. Their proposed reductions can be found here:
The response from District 34 is that the officers are not needed in the schools since the police station is within two miles of both schools. However, this response does not recognize the significant value our students and parents receive with these Officers located within the buildings. Our officers are not only supposed to be the first reponders in an emergency, their job is much greater than that. They protect our children from bullying, one of the most pervasive and harmful acts of middle school children.
Many people may not know how significant the role is of these officers. The Officers know all the children's names, they attend most major events in the buildings, Officer Smith has also been a part of the school talent show, enabling a special needs child to participate. The officers establish a trust between child and adult that is not seen with other school personnel. This trust enables students to go to the officers when they see something at school that is not right (like drugs or alcohol). The students trust that the officer will not allow anyone to find out who "told the tale".
The bus experience is another place where the officers provide a benefit to both middle school child and their parents. When bullying or risk/liability situations occur on the bus, the officer is the number one resource to address these issues promptly and efficiently.
If you are not aware of the great benefit parents are afforded with the officers in our schools, just ask one of the principals. Officer Smith in particular has been very successful at Attea since we have been fortunate to have his presence for numerous years while Officer Harlow has only had one year to build trust among the students at Springman.
Please sign this petition so we can keep our school resource officers in our middle schools!!