Ursus

District Approves Officers

Finnegan Courtney, Staff Writer

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In the wake of the Parkland shootings over two months ago, the surviving Parkland students started a movement which caught fire across the country, quickly prompting demonstrations and protests around the country to put a stop to gun shootings in schools.

An idea that has since been ratified by the Westport Board Of Education is to have a school resource officer, or SRO, a police officer who has a gun for the purpose of protecting the school, its teachers and students.

Westport is in a state of deliberation concerning the specifics of school resource officers in Bedford and Staples. The current stance on the topic is to have one half-time SRO at both Bedford and Staples, and a full time officer at Staples.

According to Dr. Rosen, the SROs will be police officers and will be armed. He wants someone “who wants to work in a dynamic educational environment, who wants to work with children and has a positive outgoing personality.”

He also said that he would prefer, “a person who would lend him or herself to building strong and productive relationships throughout our school community, and had appropriate training for law enforcement in public school settings. I respect the leadership of the Westport Police Department to provide our schools with well-trained officers who understand the gravity and seriousness nature of bringing weapons into our school.”

Dr. Colleen Palmer, the Westport Public Schools Superintendent, said that if she could talk to parents opposed to the ideas, she believes, “It would be important to communicate […] the major benefits of keeping their kids safe.”

Additionally, she said some of the advantages that SROs would have would be “their ability to have friendly relationships with kids, staff and parents.”

The upcoming SRO deployment for the sole purpose of protecting our schools from tragic shootings such as that in Parkland, SROs will be starting at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year district wide.

 

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District Approves Officers