In an email to the Eye, Board of Education chairman Ted Raczka delivered what he calls the Board view of "what sro program should be."
He also added that if Acting Chief of Police Patrick McMahon agrees to the standards, School Resource Officers can be back in the schools "withing a very few days."
This is the BOE policy as regards School Resource Officers:
MIDDLETOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER (SRO)
Goals of the SRO program
- Reduce juvenile delinquency through close personal contact with students on a daily basis.
- Bridge the gap between police officers and young people and increase positive attitudes toward law enforcement.
- Teach the value of our legal system.
- Promote respect for people and property.
- Reduce juvenile crime by helping students formulate an awareness of the rules, authority and justice.
- Take a personal interest in students and their activities.
- Allow students access to the legal system.
- Provide students a realistic picture of laws and the legal system.
- Educate students how to avoid becoming a victim through self-awareness and crime prevention.
- Work in concert with the Youth Service Bureau, DARE, and other school community-related organizations.
Role of School Resource Officer
1. Board of Education administrators will participate in the selection of School Resource Officers in the Middletown Public Schools. SROs shall be subject to replacement upon request of a principal.
2. The SRO is not considered to be the “first responder”. The Middletown Public Schools Security Staff and Administrators serve as “first responders” in all arguments, fights, and medical situations. The Middletown Public Schools recognize that there are certain circumstances under which the SRO would be the “first responder” (as outlined in Board of Education Policy #5114).
3. It is expected SROs will be trained in school-based de-escalation strategies and participate in team meetings to review individual student behavior plans.
4. The SRO is expected to be visible, active, and on campus, working hand-in-hand to solve problems with school administration and Security staff.
5. The SRO is expected to follow Board of Education Policy #5114 Community Relations – Relations with Law Enforcement Agencies.
Duties of School Resource Officer
The responsibility of the SRO is to serve as a positive role model to students, especially in terms of appropriate attitudes and respect towards others. The SRO will assist school administrators upon request when students or others commit acts of violence or acts resulting in crimes on campus. The SRO serves as a liaison among the school district, the police department, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The SRO assists certified teachers in the classroom on a wide variety of subjects deemed appropriate by curriculum requirements and needs.
The SRO is a classroom resource for instruction in the law related to education, violence diffusion, safety programs, alcohol and drug prevention, crime prevention, and other areas. They are a member of the faculty and administrative team working hand-in-hand to solve problems in the school community. When needed, the SRO will assist school security personnel in their mission.
They serve as a resource:
· To students for a positive nurturing connection with law enforcement in the school community;
· To teachers, parents, and students for guidance and information on an individual basis, dealing with individual problems or questions, while maintaining student confidentiality; and
· A counseling resource in areas which affect the educational environment, of a law-related nature.