Dealing with issues such as bullying, cyber fights, and threats is almost a daily challenge for School Resource Officers (SRO). Like all police officers, the job doesn’t start at 7 am and end at 3 pm when school is dismissed. SRO’s, just like all of law enforcement, work around the clock to keep schools safe. They are often called to serve and protect whether it’s during the school day, at a special event, a game, or even summer break.
An SRO has a diverse role is the school community and has numerous duties and responsibilities. Members of the National Association of School Resource Officers, complete training to become certified SROs and must continue their education through training sessions to keep up-to-date with state laws. They are tasked to learn the do’s and don’ts of how to respond to specific situations, especially as they related to young people. These officers work in collaboration with the school and the community as a resource for safety and security issues.
A Few Stories That Show How School Police Officers Keep Schools Safe:
These are just a few of the thousands of stories where police officers have worked above and beyond to keep student’s safe.
Antigo High School Prom Shooting
A shooting occurred April 23, 2016, at the Antigo High school prom demonstrates how police have to be ready and prepared even during festivities. According to CNN, due to pre-arranged police presence, an officer was able to immediately intervene on the scene. The shooter wounded two students but never gained access to the building. Besides the two wounded student’s, all other prom attendees were safe thanks to the quick police response and security of the building.
According to a search warrant and supporting affidavit, Antigo Police Patrolman, Andy Hopfensperger shot Wagner multiple times to stop the attack on Saturday night. The shooter was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead early Sunday; April 24th.The action taken by the officer prevented what might have otherwise been a disaster.
A Mentor to Students
School resources officers often step above and beyond their duties of protecting the student’s; they also seek to change their lives for the better. A shining an example is one dedicated resource officer at Honeysuckle Middle School in Alabama, Charles Coachman. This officer was more than security for the students, he was also a mentor.
Coachman walked by the classrooms and would test the students on school safety drills with a flick of the lights in the classroom. If issues arose at the school, such as fights or a weapon report, he would hold a school assembly and speak to all the students about the incident.
According to this article, he says “the number one priority for my job as an SRO is building trust with the students.” In many cases, he would have never found out about the weapons on school grounds had another student not told him about it. For him, it’s also about getting to know the families and the community. He was a true role model, mentor, and guardian to these students. In fact, he so inspired the children he worked with that three of his former students went on to become officers.
Matt Schuman, school resource was just doing his job when he saved the life of 14-year-old Megan Rowley, at Dixie Middle School. Officer Schuman gave Megan CPR after she collapsed at school due to a medial condition. The officer will just say it’s his job, but the school and family call him a hero. On that same day he responded to a scene of a choking infant in his neighborhood. He was was able to clear the 9-day-old baby’s airway and save that child’s life as well. This goes to show that you are always on call as an officer. There are many officers just like Schuman, officers are willing to help out anyone in need no matter when or where.
These are just a few examples out of the thousands of hard working officers that help schools, students, and communities every day. Thank you for risking every day and protecting and serving our schools during all hours of the day.