'We can and must do better': School boards to review Resource Officers in schools
LONDON, ONT -- The Thames Valley District School Board(TVDSB) in collaboration with the London District Catholic School Board (LDCSB) announced Wednesday it is reviewing the School Resource Officer (SRO) program, a program that sees uniformed officers in schools.
The move is part of a board review that aims to understand ways that the presence of officers in schools may be triggering for some students.
“This process will allow us to engage with the community and together find a path toward reconciling past systemic injustices,” said Education Director Mark Fisher.
In Jne of 2020 following Black Lives Matter rallies and protests against systemic racism calls were made to remove officers within London-area schools.
The TVDSB Trustees passed a motion to consult with students, staff, and community members regarding the SRO program.
The review announced Wednesday will be led by the Centre for Organizational Effectiveness and will be in collaboration with the LDCSB, London Police Services (LPS), St. Thomas Police Services, OPP (West Division) and Woodstock Police Services.
School Resource Officers have been in area schools for a number of years with a primary focus on education, prevention and intervention.
However, there is a concern that the presence of officers in school can trigger anxieties among persons of colour, and other students.
The review will include consultations with school communities and probe the feelings and experiences of students and their relationship with the SRO program.
“Thames Valley is committed to making the necessary changes to attitudes and practices in our system that enable racism, discrimination and bias,” said Director Fisher. “We can and must do better.”