Dept. of Ed, DOJ Release Campus Policing Recommendations
Obama administration releases resources for schools and colleges to ensure the approriate use of SROs and campus police.
The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released on Thursday new tools that they says will improve school climates, ensure safety and support student achievement in our nation’s schools.
According to the departments, to the extent a local decision is made to use school resource officers (SROs) in community schools, these resources will help state and local education and law enforcement agencies responsibly incorporate SROs in the learning environment. Additionally, the departments have highlighted tools available for law enforcement agencies that also apply to campus law enforcement agencies.
“As educators, we are all bound by a sacred trust to protect the well-being, safety, and extraordinary potential of the children, youth and the young adults within the communities we serve,” U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said. “School resource officers can be valuable assets in creating a positive school environment and keeping kids safe. But we must ensure that school discipline is being handled by trained educators, not by law enforcement officers. At the college level, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing has important recommendations that can help campus and local law enforcement both keep students safe and safeguard students’ civil rights.”
“With the release of these vital resources, the Obama Administration is furthering its commitment to ensuring that schools and SROs follow best practices, ensuring a positive and supportive classroom environment,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. ” By fostering relationships of trust and respect between students and school resource officers, we can continue to build safer schools where our young people can learn and thrive-a vital effort that the Department of Justice will continue to advance with our partners at the federal, state, and local levels in the months to come.”
To assist states, schools, and their law enforcement partners in assessing the proper role of SROs and campus law enforcement professionals, both the Education Department and the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services released letters to states and districts emphasizing the importance of well-designed SRO programs and calling on leaders of institutions of higher education to commit to implementing recommendations from the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing in the campus policing context.
To assist in the K-12 context, the Departments also jointly released the Safe, School-based Enforcement through Collaboration, Understanding, and Respect (SECURe) Rubrics. These new resources can help education and law enforcement agencies that use SROs to review and, if necessary, revise SRO-related policies in alignment with common-sense action steps that can lead to improved school safety and better outcomes for students while safeguarding their civil rights.
For more information about the Administration’s work on school climate and discipline go to www.ed.gov/rethinkdiscipline.