Keep SROs in Our Schools [OPINION]
The local chapter of the NAACP would replace our School Resource Officers with "a restorative practice/justice program and certified school counselors and therapists."
Sleep well, New Bedford, knowing that a therapist and not an armed police officer will be on hand to deal with a school shooter if and when our luck runs out and we have to contend with such an event.
The New Bedford Coalition to Save Our Schools believes that removing the SROs is a matter of racial justice.
"The demand to remove police from schools and invest in restorative services is a reasonable way to validate the experiences of Black youth and demonstrate a commitment to racial justice," said the group's co-chair, Cynthia Roy.
The idea of removing the police from our schools to protect and defend our teachers, administrators, office and cafeteria workers – and most importantly, our children – is beyond ludicrous. Policing our schools has nothing to do with racism but everything to do with establishing a safe environment for our kids to learn.
Yeah, I get it. Demonizing cops is cool these days, and our political leaders have no spines or common sense. But before George Floyd was killed by a rogue cop, SROs were doing important work in our government schools. Most everyone, including Mayor Jon Mitchell, was looking for funds to add additional SROs.
What happened? Politics and pandering, of course.
Teaching kids that cops are bad is insane. Removing cops from our schools is just plain dumb and irresponsible.
The New Bedford School Committee is debating whether to kick the cops out of our local schools. The threat of gang violence and school shooters has apparently vanished into the night without a trace.
Police officers in our schools are the first step towards establishing trust between young people and law enforcement. When kids trust the police, they share information that can prevent a school shooting or other acts of violence from occurring.
Allow the politically correct mob to drive the cops from your kid's schools and you could pay a very dear price for your inaction down the line.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.