Anchorage School Board meeting to deal with SRO program

Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 6:10 PM AKDT
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It was seen as a way to improve safety, when it was started in 2003, while also promoting better understanding between police and students.

But now, during these tense time over racial inequality, some members of the community are questioning the fairness of the School Resource Officer Program.

"I want to take a look at the use of SRO's and the fact that black and brown kids are disproportionately disciplined more than kids that aren't of color", says Celeste Hodge Growden, president of the Black Caucus.

Growden says she is looking forward to the ASD's community discussion, scheduled for July 21st, , to find out why there is such a gap.

The reaction was in response, to the announcement by Superintendent Deena Bishop, that the SRO program will be continued.

Bishop said, "Perhaps I got ahead of myself, being that it's summer, I wanted to address it . But I understand the emotions behind it ."

At the same time, Bishop says it's also important to note that the officers are not patrolling the hallways.

"They work closely with our teachers, our kids, our administrators and really work to solve problems, they educate, they mentor," says Bishop.

But Bishop also says she agrees that this is a time for discussion, to make sure all students feel comfortable.

And according to Bishop that means, "we're gonna have a conversation and it will be including the people who benefit ,or not, the children, the parents of the school, as well as the employees."

Something both sides say they can agree on.

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