Mitchell Needs to Commit to SROs [OPINION]
The push to push cops out of our schools is a frightening thing that a year ago would have seemed unimaginable to most rationally thinking people. But here we are debating just such a scenario.
Actually, there is no real debate about it. The radical left has decided it wants to off the cops and that's it. No debate required. Has anyone asked your opinion before deciding that police were no longer needed in our schools? They didn't ask me either. But I am not shy and I plan to let my feelings be known, as should you.
Just a year ago we were discussing ways that we could increase security in our schools to guard against school shooters and gang violence. Now, the politicians are saying we should kick out the police and that the school districts should not be allowed to share information with the police for gang databases.
What has changed in the last year is not that our schools have become suddenly safer. Our politicians have become weaker and more prone to appeasing radical leftists who are seeking control of our country. In doing so, they are placing our kids on the front lines.
Mayor Jon Mitchell has been a strong advocate for School Resource Officers and has had on-air discussions with me in which he has articulated his frustration that he could not locate money to place additional SROs in our schools.
Yet, when asked on Wednesday about the Senate's bill that relaxes a state requirement for SROs and leaves the decision to have them at all with superintendents, Mitchell seemed to have had a change of heart. The mayor said the decision to have SROs in the schools should be up to Superintendent Thomas Anderson and perhaps the officers could be better used out on the streets anyway.
The taxpayers of New Bedford did not elect Thomas Anderson to make those kinds of decisions. They elected Jon Mitchell. Mitchell is the city's chief executive. He is the police chief's boss. He also serves as chairman ex-officio of the New Bedford School Committee. The buck stops on his desk. So why is he attempting to pass the buck to Anderson for such an important decision?
Mitchell was all out in favor of SROs before it became politically unpopular. He needs to find his voice on the issue and recommit to keeping New Bedford schools safe – even if it means standing up to the angry mob he is so eager to please.
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.