Op-Ed: School Board Should Not Remove San Marcos Safety Officer
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.
Op-Ed's are written by community members. Do you have an opinion on something local? Share it with us at . The views and opinions expressed in Op-Ed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of edhat.