PCP: Removal of resource officers causes change

Divisive stances taken on important topic
PCP: Removal of resource officers causes change
Why we need our resource officers at school

In our school, the school resource officer’s main job is to make sure that our students are safe, and to provide a positive environment at Park. While some people think we don’t need these officers for a safe environment, I think it’s an important role to keep our school a positive area to learn. 

When you think of a police officer, you think they are just there to prevent crime or violence. While that may be part of their jobs, youth often view or turn to officers the same way they would to their parents or when they need someone to talk to. These police officers create connections and build trust with other students. Having resource officers  can shine a positive light on the school and make people look forward to building those relationships, and without those officers you can’t build those relationships.

It’s good to have this kind of extra safety net for our school, but also to have that support for the students. Having school resource officers can take away stress from teachers as well. For example, if a medical issue were to occur or a fight broke out, these officers would be helpful to handle this situation, and teachers could still teach and keep their own classrooms in control. 

Regarding safety and threats in the school, it’s important to have a person whose job is to protect others. Park has been a safe school where we don’t really need a resource officer  for safety concerns, but there could always be a situation where our school gets a threat from outside of the school and then we need our officers. If we were to go into a lockdown for serious reasons then we have the protection for our students and staff. 

Overall, I think that our resource officers are needed in Park for the student’s and staff’s safety. We never know what might happen during the school day, and it’s good to have a resource officer who we can trust for that. Building those connections with students while at school is important because if a student needs someone to talk to they have that trust and friendship with a resource officer.

Removing police presence in schools is beneficial

Resource officers are in almost half of public schools in America. The jobs of these officers is to keep the school environment safe and prevent crime. While having certain people in a school to keep it running as safely as possible, are resource officers the right ones for the job?

To me, it is as though resource officers shouldn’t be the ones schools should hire in order to keep it running. When we think of police officers, we think of crime stoppers. An organization that deals with the worst of the worst, but kids aren’t the worst of the worst. 

The start of having officers in schools started in the late 1950s, but it became popular in the late 1990s. The initial goal was to improve the relationship between local police and the youth. It later changed after the Columbine school shooting.

Looking back, modern-day policing can be traced back to slave patrols. Slave patrols were created to establish a system of fear and capture runaway slaves. Even looking at it today, the police system continues to prove that it needs reform. So why allow a flawed system to be in place in our schools? 

We have seen time and time again, especially with the Minneapolis Police Department, that police aren’t exactly here to “serve and protect” everyone. Putting children in color, who already face much harsher and stricter consequences at school and adding an organization that already targets them. Putting them into schools isn’t the solution to keeping a school environment safe. 

Resource officers are good to have while dealing with criminal cases surrounding students. They are also good at criminalizing students and upholding its dangerous history of placing black and brown students in the school-to-prison pipeline

In a CNN article, it talks about the fear that black and brown families have concerning the increase of policing in schools. There’s an instance in the article on how a six-year-old black girl was arrested for throwing a tantrum. Another instance, a ten-year-old black boy was placed in a chokehold and arrested because he had an outburst. 

In the end, resource officers shouldn’t be placed into schools. Especially when the school system already punishes students of color harsher than white students. Combining two systems that target students of color is a dangerous risk. If you want to create a safer school environment, there are plenty of other approaches to take rather than implementing police into schools.

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