Parents bring concerns of SROs to Beaverton school board meeting

Education

The meeting focused primarily on the district's budget and future plans

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Parents in the Beaverton School District weighed in on school resource officers during a school board meeting Monday night. This comes after Portland Public Schools announced earlier this month that they would discontinue the regular presence of officers in schools.

While the meeting was about the budget and future plans for the district overall, parents were able to submit their comments to district leaders—some said keep and retrain officers while others said they didn’t want the officers in schools.

“For the SRO officer, we had in favor, 12 people who thought we should keep those as security for the schools. We had 20 people in favor of reallocating those resources and not keeping the SRO program financed by the school district,” said Board Vice President Eric Simpson.

Some of the comments read:

“We need to keep resource officers in our schools to keep our children safe. Removing the resource officers doesn’t help current political events and simply leaves our children with one less protection.”

“Please remove SROs from schools. The very presence of police officers in schools contributes to a climate for many brown and black students that increases fear and decreases security and a place of belonging in school.”

There is also a petition circulating that calls for the removal of SROs from schools. It currently has more than 1,500 signatures. It wasn’t the focus of Monday’s meeting, but the board members did ask about SRO funding.

“Currently, [there is] $260,000 that goes towards the SRO program,” said Deputy Superintendent of Operations Carl Mead. “The vast majority is funded actually through the county—Washington County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Beaverton Police Department.”

Moving forward, Nadia Hasan with Beaverton Families for Equity said she wants to see the data.

“As having been an educator and seeing what’s happened, I have had amazing SROs that I worked with,” said Hasan, parent and former teacher. “The reality is that some students and families have come forward and said they may not feel safe around the police. That’s not my call to make. What I would love the district to do is really look at the data and do some analysis. Is this a program that’s working? Yes or no?”

KOIN 6 News reached out to the school district to see if they will have a separate meeting to discuss SROs, but has not heard back yet.

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