Archive for Thursday, February 9, 2006

More unneeded SRO nonsense

February 9, 2006

There needs to be a School Resource Officer at Baldwin High School. Is there any disputing that? No.

That's why we were surprised to learn at Monday's Baldwin City Council meeting that evidently there's another dispute between the Baldwin City Police Department and the Baldwin School District on how the SRO position is being handled.

Weren't we down this same road this summer? Wasn't it made clear that the two groups needed to work out the differences and make this position work?

The SRO position is within the police department and paid for, in its entirety, by the city. The school district reaps the benefit without it costing a dime. But, for whatever reason, the school district holds to the idea that it should control this position. Why?

If done properly, it has been shown countless times that an SRO position pays great dividends to the schools, its students, teachers, staff, administrators and the community at large.

That' what we want here. Let's make it happen.

It is painfully obvious after Friday's latest round of events from BHS students that administrators there need all the help they can get.

An assault in the cafeteria that could end up in charges? Students "dusting" in the bathrooms, filling their lungs with compressed air for a "cheap" high that has proven to be deadly for 150 youngsters in the country last year.

Then, there's the continued FireTree Estates fiasco where BHS students seem to think it's funny to scare elementary school children just off the bus and walking home. While initially there weren't any laws broken in the "candy" incidents, the same two BHS students may have crossed that line by doing it again and could face harassment charges.

Do we even need to go down the road of what happened out there last year again? The shotgun incident in the parking lot after a football game should be enough, but there was also alcohol being consumed during the school day. Have we forgotten about the drug and alcohol survey results that were so revealing? If you've forgotten, the students themselves indicated widespread problems with alcohol and drugs, including their use on school grounds during school hours.

Enough of this insanity. Above all, we need the children in this community to be safe. We need the SRO to be a major part of that and the officer needs to be able to do the job without jumping through school district hoops.

Let's hope officials from the city, police department and school district can sit down Thursday and figure this whole thing out. It's not city vs. district. It's about community. We're all in this together.

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