Evolving Relationship Between Schools and Police (Editorial)

By Scott Bowser

The Periscope (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)

Last week, the school board recognized Corporal Simon Jackson, Officer Nina Klinger and Police Chief Steve Margeson “for demonstrating that the Carlisle Police Department is a supportive service to keep the students and their families safe.”

Such an event raises the question of how much a police department should be involved with local schools. Currently, CHS’s security personal are employed by the district.

Recently, law enforcement has gained a negative reputation, especially amongst younger Americans, for instances of abuse and corruption.

However, while any case of brutality is not to be taken lightly, an entirely different story can be told on the relationship between police and schools.

64% of high schools during the 2013-2014 school year had a school resource officer present on campus.

Shootings such as Columbine and Sandy Hook have prompted an increased security presence at schools nationwide. And schools are correct in doing so. There have been reported cases of a school resource officer stopping active shootings.

When only 52% of Americans have “quite a lot” of trust in the police force, an officer being deployed to schools is an opportunity to build trust within the community.

At Wilson, a new course will teach 8th grades about “police operations, police authority and limits of authority, search and seizure, police use of force, traffic stops and how to interact with police to avoid conflict or confrontations.”

Increasing police involvement in schools through education and security creates a greater chance of tackling issues such as violence and misconduct.

Photo Credit: The Periscope 

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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