Home > Uncategorized > Restorative Justice and Resources Will Make Schools Safe: SROs Not So Much

Restorative Justice and Resources Will Make Schools Safe: SROs Not So Much

August 27, 2018

Truthdig contributor Lidwina Bell wrote a short op ed piece titled “Schools Need Resources, Not School Resource Officers” that concluded with this:

Resource officers are a resource only by name. What would it look like if our schools were actually resourced?

In a well-resourced school, students are safe because staff can invest in their well-being. “Accountability” isn’t separated from a student’s ability to heal, thrive, and uplift the whole community. And students don’t wind up in jail or with a record for routine school incidents.

One SRO can cost up to $97,000. Instead of hiring officers that see students as criminals, schools can use that money for real school resources — mental health workers and restorative justice practitioners, to name a few — who build students up rather than push them out.

The article outlines many points made in previous posts on this blog: that SROs tend to criminalize discipline violations that put students on the path to prison; that restorative justice is superior to suspensions and/or arrests; that schools receiving funds for SROs could use those funds to help provide needed counseling services; and, implicitly, that solutions to the problems of school violence cannot be counteracted by imposing order with police. It can only be solved by cultivating an orderly environment through caring adults.

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