Join Club

School Board Approves Relocating SROs Off APS Grounds

Arlington School Board Chair Monique O’Grady during the June 24 meeting (via Arlington Public Schools)

The Arlington School Board voted during its meeting last night (Thursday) to remove School Resource Officers (SROs) from school buildings.

As part of the vote, SROs — a unit of sworn officers within the Arlington County Police Department — will be moved off-site and will still provide services like driving and substance abuse education, as well as law enforcement support on an as-needed basis.

Officers will get a new title to reflect their new role, such as “youth resource officers,” Superintendent Francisco Durán told the board.

He told the board his recommendation to retain the relationship but relocate the officers is grounded in recommendations made by an APS workgroup that was convened last year to examine the role of SROs after the Arlington branch of the NAACP called for their removal. The local NAACP cited disparities in juvenile arrests in Arlington, in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police and the conversation nationwide about race and policing.

“I want to thank my colleagues for their support for moving this piece of historic leadership forward,” Board Chair Monique O’Grady said during the meeting.

Board Vice-Chair Barbara Kanninen commended O’Grady for her work bringing this to fruition.

“I especially want to make clear to the community that this was a priority for you as chair,” she said. “This was the one item, other than dealing with the pandemic, that you committed to, argued strongly for, and now we’re here.”

Over the next two months, Arlington Public Schools will be hammering out a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Arlington County Police Department to prepare for the start of school this fall, said APS Chief of Staff Brian Stockton.

“The last one took nine months this time we’re going to try and speed it up,” he said.

The decision comes nearly two months after a School Resource Officer helped to secure Wakefield High School in response to a call from a staff member, who alleged a student was making threats and had what was described as a bulletproof vest.

Funding for SROs, a total of $3 million, comes from Arlington County and is a gift to APS, Stockton said.

Some speakers argued for reinvesting the $3 million in mental health services.

Among them was rising Washington-Liberty High School junior Benjamin Portner, who told board members about his experience with SROs in elementary school and how still today, he carries “a great deal of nervousness when they pass me in the hall or even when they try to speak friendly manner.”

“Having them on and off-campus is a constant reminder to these students, and really all students, that the potential for violence remains in schools,” he said.

Board Member Cristina Diaz-Torres said she agreed with his sentiments and those of other speakers who asked for the $3 million to be reinvested in mental health services, but concluded that it is not a possibility at this time.

“[The vote] is a step forward, but it is certainly not the end of the journey: There is so much more that needs to be done,” she said. “We need to do to beef up the mental health resources for our students, so we can ensure that any student in crisis has the resources they need and they never have to interact with an SRO or the criminal-legal system at all.”

APS is the second district in the region to remove SROs from schools.

Recent Stories

Just Reduced includes a 5 BD/5.5 BA brick home with an elevator, 10 ft ceilings and hardwood floors.

Good Tuesday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 42526 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…

Two local chefs have been named semifinalists for a prestigious James Beard award.

The Ballston and East Falls Church Metro stations are among those set to be impacted by a multi-week closure starting in June.

Need help dealing with anxiety, depression or stress?

If you’re struggling to cope with anxiety, depression or stress, our virtual psychotherapy services can help. We offer a confidential and convenient service that’s tailored to your needs.

In our practice, cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is an important tool we use to provide effective relief for those facing anxiety and depression. We believe that cognitive change can be used to improve behaviors and emotions, thus allowing you to achieve mental wellness. By understanding the cognitive distortions that lead to negative thought patterns, we are able to create interventions tailored to each of our clients. This empowering approach can help you gain control of how your own thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors impact your experience. With CBT, our service provides an effective treatment that can bring long-term change and mental stability.

Book a free consultation today and see how we can help you live a happier and healthier life.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.

Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.

We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.

For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.

Submit your own Announcement here.

Almost, Maine

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, join us for a series of vignettes that revolve around the theme of love. Taking place in an almost-town called Almost, Maine, we will show you different, but important, facet of love in each

First-time Moms Meet & Greet

The truth, your first pregnancy and new mom months are full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and lots of questions! None of us really know the best way to do it – we just figure it out, together…

×

Subscribe to our mailing list