Many people want police officers (SRO) removed from schools across Vermont, and there is state legislation pending about it. At last night’s (Tuesday March 16) meeting WSESU school directors heard public comments about the officer in the high school located in Brattleboro.
School administrations and other advocates cling to the SRO’s as high-power hall monitors and deterrents to school shooters and terrorists, while opponents like BCS and most notably Youth for Change, want students to feel safe and not intimidated at school. BCS is proposing a compromise: following the BCS S.A.F.E. policing disarmament plan the police could continue their SRO function without their pistols (or other non-lethal weapons).
The plan is for routine patrols without fire-arms. It includes a limited six-month trial for data gathering and is recommended by the Brattleboro safety committee.
The board was about to hear BCS worker Jeannie Giaquinto propose the compromise when her internet failed. Luckily another worker, Kurt Daims, had spoken with B.U.H.S. principal Steve Perrin and got in queue just in time. He said that Perrin agreed the compromise was worth considering and proposed it to the directors, encouraging them to honor the need of students to feel safe and not “triggered”.
Kurt also noted that retired officer Graeme Donald of Police Scotland would be available to answer their questions about non-lethal policing.