Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

108 Comments
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By Rosanne Crawford

Public comments continued to come in at the Santa Barbara Unified School District board meeting on 10/26 that included Sherif Bill Brown, A Ventura District Attorney and students and parents that have started petitions on their campus.

Recently,  action agenda item 7 on the 10/12/21 School Board meeting was set for approval of the contract with the School Resource Deputy. A School Resource Deputy is a sworn Law enforcement officer responsible for safety and crime prevention in schools.  For Agenda and documents attachments see  https://go.boarddocs.com/ca/sbunified/Board.nsf/Public

Unexpectedly, however, Superintendent Maldonado however took the Board in a different direction and made a special request to change the action 7 from approval of the contract to a discussion item. The president of the Board Kate Ford granted the request.   What was even more unprecedented was after discussion and comments  they changed it back to an action item.

The entire youtube of the meeting is  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfX4JICaEHM Buffer to the time towards the end of the meeting at  4:18:59 thru 6:04:56 for this item to hear discussion details.

The reversal was questioned by the astute Student Board representative who stated that public comments of some invited groups were opposite of what he had been hearing from his constituents who are students on the campus and asked that it be postponed so others could be included in the discussion.

The board however unanimously decided to go against the prior motion to approve the placement and funding of a School Resource Deputy ( SRD) at San Marcos High School for the 2021-2022 school year. (Source: Independent)

One of the strongest statements in this article was: “There is just not enough evidence that a [School Resource Officer] prevents gun violence,” Board Member Laura Capps said. “It’s not something I can support going forward.”

The security officer had been put in place because of an increase in violence and drug use on campus as well as increased incidences of cyber bullying and sexual misconduct. Since 2016 there had been a 41% increase of weapon related offences. (Source: Noozhawk)

Only weeks ago a San Marcos tennis coach and physics teacher was arrested at school after the juvenile male victim reported the incident to local law enforcement. (Source: Independent)

In March 2019, a Goleta man was charged with multiple felonies of child molestation and pornography after the investigation of a case which began when San Marcos High school was notified  the student victim had reported to the School Resource Officer that the individual was attempting communications of a sexual matter. (Source: Noozhawk)

What you can do

Email your opinion to the Superintendent and Board members.

 Superintendent Maldonado    hmaldonado@sbunified.org
Kate Ford President of board   kford@sbunified.org
Rose Munoz Vice President      rmunoz@sbunified.org
   Wendy Sims-Moten       wsims-moten@sbunified.org
   Virginia Alvarez           valvarez@sbunified.org
       Laura Capps       lcapps@sbunified.org
Student Board member Dawson Kelly  studentboardmember@sbunified.org
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108 Comments

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GeneralTree Oct 28, 2021 12:06 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

Sac - your anecdotal story doesn't sway my opinion on all of the research I've read on the subject.

Lot's of research on the subject available to you. Lot's of evidence pointing to more harm than good.

With that being said - I'm all for the "Dad's on Duty" concept we've been hearing about in the news this week.

ZeroHawk Oct 28, 2021 12:34 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

yeah dads on duty. ok so how many CAPABLE dads don't work and can hang out on campus? How many of them have training and have taken courses on how to manage kids? How many of them have completed intensive background checks? None? Thought so. And Honestly...if some gang bangers want to roll onto campus, some kids dad isn't going to stop them, but a cop with a gun will. That cop also has back up, it's called the police department. What does your dad brigade have? Nothing.

sacjon Oct 28, 2021 01:20 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

Wait, what? Dads patrolling instead of cops? I definitely don't want a stay at home dad in charge of my kid's safety. Where on earth is this even a thing? If we're going to rely on parents to protect everyone, throw a gaggle of stay at home Karens in there. At least they'll be in constant communication with the real police.

GeneralTree Oct 28, 2021 01:24 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

Who said the dads would be in charge of safety? Who said they were going to protect everyone? I like the idea of families volunteering more at schools and being on campus.
Are you against families being a part of schools to make it a better place?

sacjon Oct 28, 2021 02:47 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

GT "Who said the dads would be in charge of safety? " - Uh.... isn't that exactly what you were talking about? "I'm all for the "Dad's on Duty" concept "

Look, I just feel that SROs are a benefit, at least in our local schools. Cops abusing power and being racist is a bigger issue, one I don't dispute, that won't be resolved by taking away SROs and the vast benefits they provide to the students' safety and security.

Vet them better, train them better, penalize them harsher for abuse/racism, but don't just blanket ban them. That ignores the bigger problem in the police force. While it has issues and has been more frequently abusive, you can't just "ban" the police. Most of them provide life-saving services.

GeneralTree Oct 28, 2021 03:37 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

Oh and I don't wish to ban police. I don't want armed police in schools. Pay a police officer to stand outside in case of a shooting. A resource office "should" not be someone who slaps the cuffs on... I like how people have just given up on society and are glad to accept they drop their kids off at an overrun zoo everyday.

GeneralTree Oct 28, 2021 04:30 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

"Vet them better, train them better, penalize them harsher for abuse/racism"
But who is going to do this. We can't do it with police and we aren't doing it with SRO's.

The whole SRO model needs to change in terms of training and the types of people being hired. I could be for the SRO then - but throwing a guy with a gun in a school just isn't working.

GeneralTree Oct 28, 2021 04:24 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

Sac .... I'm supposing you're not choosing to read between the lines so I will spell it out. I think it's great that the SRO saved a student's life - but your one anecdotal story does not negate the problems there have been all across the country with SRO's. The current model for SRO's is not working - the whole position and training needs to be completely changed if it is going to be useful and safe. I'll return the question now, why would someone be petty about SRO's cuffing children, beating kids, arresting autistic kids and shooting people?

ZeroHawk Oct 28, 2021 05:00 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

GT, good! BC I don't need some random dude spouting off non sense and "data" and "research" when you are looking at national numbers and not numbers focused on this specific school and you probably don't even have kids enrolled there either.

GeneralTree Oct 28, 2021 05:29 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

Zero "GT, good! BC I don't need some random dude spouting off non sense" Then why are you reading anything on the www internet world wide web crawler that them there Al Gore invented huh with all those socialist communists ?

OGSB Oct 28, 2021 05:28 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

GT- Where is YOUR data on ANY of these things happening in the SBSD? I mean 95% right? Our schools are predominantly filled with people of color and a large amount of
LGBTQ kids. Please provide ONE example locally. Yeah, thought so.

ZeroHawk Oct 29, 2021 09:26 AM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

your arguements are juvenile at best. so just because he has a gun, he needs to use it? it's a deterent that has clearly worked well. look, if you don't have kids that attend, your opinion doesn't matter at ALL. i have several kids enrolled and i have a voice as do they. they agree with many of their classmates that the officer is needed and helpful. would you want to argue this with the kids that he's there to assist?

ZeroHawk Oct 29, 2021 09:29 AM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

ok GT, i'm done with this. i won't be checking back in. i don't care about your lame opinion. you, as i've stated, probably don't have kids that attend, thus you have no voice here. i do. i have kids enrolled on that campus. those kids and their classmates, and parents, many that i know personally well, want the officer on campus. you are just saying you have research, and studies and data, and this and that but can't provide one bit of it that is unbiased and factual.

sacjon Oct 29, 2021 09:48 AM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

GT - "your one anecdotal story does not negate the problems there have been all across the country with SRO's." - I never said it did. I just used it as ONE example of why the SRO in OUR school is useful. Stop making things up.

GeneralTree Oct 28, 2021 11:17 AM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

I'll add that research shows that the presence of SROs is detrimental to the welfare of our children, leading to the increased criminalization of youth for child-like behaviors. In the past 30 years, school resource officers, or SROs, have been placed in thousands of American schools. The job description varies by school district or law enforcement agency, but the Justice Department, which funds many SRO programs, describes SROs as “sworn law enforcement officers responsible for safety and crime prevention in schools.” They are supposed to be vigilant protectors, defending innocent children from gang violence and mass shooters. But research indicates that they sometimes act more like armed enforcers, harassing and arresting students for minor disciplinary infractions, especially if those students are not White. Children who should be sent to the principal’s office instead land in jail.

a-1635445769 Oct 28, 2021 11:29 AM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

Just curious, of all these parents and children wanting a cop on campus, how many of them are white? School resource officers disproportionately target students of color. Also the "evidence" of why a cop is needed on campus doesn't make sense. Most of those incidents were reported directly to the police department and not the resource officer. I say save the money, kick the cop out.

ZeroHawk Oct 28, 2021 12:32 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

769 turning this into a racial issue and a nice copy/paste from the media too on your post. lets look at the stats of race of the kids at SMHS. Mostly not white. So you do the math. If you have 100 kids total. 20 are W, 40 are H, 20 are B, and 20 are A, the higher percentage of issues would envelope the highest number of a specific group of kids. Its just math, it's not a race issue so please stop trying to make it one. Both of my kids attend and their skin color is irrelevant. Do YOU have kids there?
Sorry, but I'm happy to have my tax dollars pay for a cop on campus. SMHS has it's fair share of problems and needs one stationed there and if you think otherwise, then you must not have kids there nor do you know much of what happens on campus. I do and am very involved.

GeneralTree Oct 28, 2021 12:44 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

"It's just math" Schools resource officers are disproportionately placed in schools where the majority of students identify as Black. In schools where 75% or more of the student population identified as Black, 54% had one or more SROs present, contrasted against just 33% of schools where students identified as all White. This disparity is significant because researchers have also found that Black students are more likely to be charged, arrested, and referred to juvenile courts by SROs. Specifically, Black students make up 15 percent of the nationwide K-12 student population, but constitute 31 percent of all referrals to law enforcement and 36 percent of all school-based arrests. Conversely, White students constitute 49 percent of the nationwide K-12 population, but only account for 37 percent of referrals to law enforcement and 33 percent of all school-based arrests.

a-1635450380 Oct 28, 2021 12:46 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

Zero I'm not making it a racial issue, it IS a racial issue across the nation.

•Black students were arrested at a rate 3 times that of white students. In some states, they were 8 times as likely to be arrested.
•Pacific Island/Native Hawaiian and Native American students were arrested at a rate 2 times that of white students.
•Latinx students were arrested at a rate 1.3 times that of white students

Source: https://www.aclu.org/report/cops-and-no-counselors

ger8t Oct 28, 2021 12:52 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

"Just curious, of all these parents and children wanting a cop on campus, how many of them are white?"

You don't think people of other races want an officer's presence on campus? Only white people do? If the school decides to keep the officer on campus, the what race do you want the security officer to be? When I was in high school, our school "resource officer" was Payne Green. Are you curious about his race?

sacjon Oct 28, 2021 12:55 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

12:26 - Do you have those same statistics, but for crimes committed and populations? Just because one race was arrested more than another, doesn't mean they were targeted. How many crimes were committed by students in each group?

GeneralTree Oct 28, 2021 12:59 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer

Schools resource officers are disproportionately placed in schools where the majority of students identify as Black. In schools where 75% or more of the student population identified as Black, 54% had one or more SROs present, contrasted against just 33% of schools where students identified as all White. This disparity is significant because researchers have also found that Black students are more likely to be charged, arrested, and referred to juvenile courts by SROs.[7] Specifically, Black students make up 15 percent of the nationwide K-12 student population, but constitute 31 percent of all referrals to law enforcement and 36 percent of all school-based arrests.[8] Conversely, White students constitute 49 percent of the nationwide K-12 population, but only account for 37 percent of referrals to law enforcement and 33 percent of all school-based arrests.

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