Posted by on October 13, 2021 7:01 pm
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Virginia city that removed police from schools following ‘defund the police’ protests reinstates officers

FILE – In this Dec. 17, 2012 photo, Officer Rick Moore of the Oakland school district police patrols Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, Calif. The National Rifle Association on Friday, Dec. 21 2012 called for the placement of an armed police officer in every school, but parents and educators questioned how safe such a move would keep kids, whether it would be economically feasible and how it would alter student life. Their reactions ranged from supportive to disgusted. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File) Noah Berger

Virginia city that removed police from schools following ‘defund the police’ protests reinstates officers

Luke Gentile October 13, 06:48 PMOctober 13, 06:48 PM

A city council in Virginia that removed the police presence from its schools in May voted Wednesday to tentatively reinstate student resource officers following parent and teacher uproar over violence in the city’s public schools, according to a report.

The Alexandria City Council passed the measure with a 4-3 vote following six-plus hours of debate that lasted from Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, WJLA reported.

“It’s proven in this short period of time that we need SROs back in our school buildings,” Alexandria Schools Superintendent Gregory Hutchings said at the meeting. “We cannot ignore the perceptions of our students and staff as well as our families in regards to feeling safe as they walk into our buildings.”

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Students in the area are sending “warning shots,” Alexandria City High School Principal Peter Balas said.

“Please reconsider this. My staff, my students. We’re not OK,” he said.

School resource officers were voted to be removed from the area’s schools, and $800,000 in funding was relocated to mental health in May in the wake of national “defund the police” protests, the report said.

Following the removal of police, videos showed brawls at local schools and a shooting took place blocks away from Alexandria High School, according to the report.

“This was going to happen,” one parent said. “Take away the police from inside schools, and you’re going to see people get hurt.”

This sentiment was shared by parents and school faculty throughout the area, leading them to hold a rally Sept. 27.

“We’re out here today because we are parents and citizens who are concerned about mounting violence in Alexandria schools,” Liz Fuller, a parent in the area, said. “There’s been brutal fights, where administrators and security guards have gotten pushed down along with the students.”

Some in the area are concerned that officers’ presence in schools will intimidate students of color, but the city council said the officers would be trained and well prepared.

“All SROs being assigned to ACPS schools will be fully trained and will have received the required certifications. SROs serve as a proactive safety mechanism while serving as a trusted adult for our students,” ACPS Chief of School and Community Relations Julia Burgos said.

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“We are thankful that we have the time to work with the City Council and the community to explore the many resources on re-imagining school policing,” she said.

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Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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