Panel questions need for school resource officers

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) -Plenty of students are on spring break, but one group isn’t taking any time off in it’s effort to take a deeper look at police officers’ presence on school campuses.

Several dozen students and curious citizens crowded into a lecture hall at the College of Charleston for ‘Police in Schools: Are School Resource Officers Facilitating A School-To-Prison-Pipeline?’

The event was sponsored by several groups on campus and featured professors, a representative of Charleston’s Illumination Project and Black Lives Matter Charleston.

Pastor Thomas Dixon was on the panel and wants districts to do away with school resource officers and instead see more counselors or administrators handle the incidents.

“We need people who understand the children more than those that discipline the children,” said Dixon, “that way we can create an environment where they want to learn where they will feel that school is an acceptable place for them to be at.”

Scott Garland attended the event hoping for more of a discussion and says the only thing he got from it is that the panel wants SRO’s out of schools.

“I don’t know what that would accomplish,” said Garland, “I think it would send the schools into a tailspin and and there would be much more violence than there is now.”

“Without the presence of SRO’s, the behavior of children will be just children,” said Muhiyidin D’baha, who was also on the panel.

Some on the panel say they hope they can get lawmakers attention through future events.

Lowcountry school districts have told News 2 previously that SRO’s receive extensive training on how to work with kids.

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