Rough Student Arrest Puts Spotlight on School Police – The New York Times

Mr. Canady, a former school officer in Alabama, said he could not judge Mr. Fields’s conduct without knowing more, but the videos raised the question, “Was it a criminal offense going on that got him involved, or was it the heart of a school discipline matter that could be handled by school administrators?”Who the officers work for can influence approaches to the job, experts say. Some school systems, like those of Los Angeles, Houston and Philadelphia, employ their own officers, but far more often, districts pay the local police or sheriff’s departments to assign officers to schools. In Richland County, as in many places, work in schools is a full-time, long-term job for some deputies; in others, officers rotate more quickly through that assignment.In the South Carolina case, there may have been no easy solution to a student who is disruptive but nonviolent, and refuses to budge.“This is why it’s so important for the S.R.O.’s to have good training and have a rapport with students,” said Chris Dorn, an analyst with Safe Havens International, consultants on school safety based in Macon, Ga. In other cases, he said, an officer “needs to make a judgment that even if forcibly removing the student might be justified, you don’t want to take it to that level.”Moses Robinson, a school resource officer in Rochester who helps with Strategies for Youth training, said his approach was to draw attention away from the misbehaving student and not force a confrontation.Mr. Canady said his group trains officers to first “remove the audience.”“I would ask the school administrators to please excuse the other students and let them go out in the hall,” he said, and then talk calmly with the one left behind. “Simply ask the student, ‘What’s wrong, what’s going on, how can I help you?’ That’s a difference maker. Many times they just need somebody to listen to.”

Source: Rough Student Arrest Puts Spotlight on School Police – The New York Times

Comments are closed