New regulations headed to the South Carolina Statehouse would decrease the role that police officers have in classroom discipline.
The state Board of Education earlier this month unanimously approved changes that would bar school resource officers (SROs) from getting involved in behavioral issues unless a student’s actions are criminal or “exceed the level of disruptive conduct” and present a serious safety threat. The vote sends the proposal to the legislature for approval next year.
A change of this sort was among the recommendations of a special task force called by state Education Superintendent Molly Spearman after an SRO at Spring Valley High School was fired last year for his handling of an uncooperative student. Richland County Sheriff’s deputy Ben Fields was filmed dragging the student out of her desk, then tossing her across the floor towards the door.
“It does clarify that teachers, educators and the principals are in charge of discipline at the schools,” Spearman told South Carolina Radio Network. “The resource officer should only get involved in the case of criminal activity.” [Read more…]