school resource officers

Prince George's School Board Tables Proposal to Remove Police From Schools

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The Prince George’s County Board of Education tabled a proposal to remove police officers from schools Thursday evening.

“I’m very disappointed that we didn’t have a substantive debate or conversation about this issue,” member Edward Burroughs III said. “This issue is a matter of great importance to our public, and so I thought a thoughtful discourse would have been appropriate.”

There was a back and forth discussion and debate over whether the student member of the board could vote, but In the end, the proposal was delayed until the fall.

“We’re in public office and we can do something about it,” member David Murray said. “So we proposed to do something about it that can change outcomes for Black and brown kids, and our colleagues didn’t have that kind of proposal. They just said now is not a good time to discuss; maybe in the fall.”

The idea to remove school resource officers was inspired by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis and the demands by protesters for police reform across the country.

Because it was removed from the agenda, members were not allowed to discuss it.

Some have raised concern that removing police would makes schools less safe.

The Prince George's County Board of Education will consider two proposals to remove armed police from county schools. Board members say the resolutions are in response to calls for police reform from protesters. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins spoke with county leaders who say it could be a step in the wrong direction.

Earlier, the CEO of the school system told News4’s Tracee Wilkins that school resource officers are often mentors to students.

“What I do know as a former principal is that many times we are able to stop something from happening because of the relationship that exists between students and our security assistance or our school resource officers,” Dr. Monica Goldson said.

The proposal included $5 million to provide mental health counseling and social workers for students. 

“During the coronavirus, during the Black Lives Matter movement, there is trauma and turmoil our young people are seeing,” Burroughs said.

It was tabled until the Sept. 4, which is well past the start of the next school year.

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