The number of school based law
enforcement officers – often called school resource officers or SROs – is growing
exponentially throughout the U.S. Defining SRO seems simple: a sworn police
officer who is employed in a school with the goal of promoting a safe learning
environment. But, in practice, the actual roles and tasks performed by SRO is vary
widely from campus to campus and are governed by a host of influences.
Research tells us that even as SROs themselves often have different ideas
about what their jobs entail; there really is no clear consensus. Through our
work with educators across Texas we at the School Safety Center have come to
learn that teachers and school leaders also are often confused about what to
expect from an SRO and conflicted about the appropriate use of
police in schools. This presentation will ask and answer
some questions we get from educators about the origins of school policing and
the parameters around the tasks SROs perform everyday in our learning spaces.
We will also offer our expertise in how folks who are interested can find out
more about the policies and practices of school resource officers in their own
home schools and districts. Lastly we hope the audience will help us
generate new questions for exploration around this important topic.