Should Santa Rosa Schools Bring Back Police?
After the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the Santa Rosa High School District joined a number of California school districts in suspending its policing program. Now, the school board is being rebuked by some parents and local police following serious incidents of violence.
On March 1, a 17-year-old boy was stabbed to death in an art classroom at Montgomery High School. Days ago, two students were arrested for bringing knives to the school. At board meetings, parents have alleged multiple fights and assaults on school grounds.
Some parents are begging the district to bring back school resource officers (SROs), as a number of other districts have done. The police chief has also urged the board to reinstate its partnership with SRPD.
It's a divisive issue. Other parents, particularly those with children of color, allege their children were victims of police harassment when SROs were on campus.
“Fights happen on these campuses all the time,” said Kirstyne Lange, President of the NAACP Santa Rosa-Sonoma County chapter, seemingly dismissing concerns. She added that the push for on-campus police is a “crazy response.”
So far, the school board seems reluctant to reverse course. Renewing the SRO program is not on the agenda. Instead, the board will convene an advisory roundtable to discuss options for increasing school safety.
Read more about the ongoing safety concerns at Santa Rosa schools at the San Francisco Chronicle.