Guilford County needs school resource officers

by Jim Longworth

Last week several Guilford County School Board members said they wanted to get rid of school resource officers. Two years ago I delivered a commentary on “Triad Today” in which I called for just the opposite. I suggested having at least one permanently assigned SRO in every middle and high school. That’s because, at the time, assaults were up 40 percent in Guilford County schools and SROs are a visible deterrent to crime.

Yes, police officers are human, and you have to match the right cop with the right school, otherwise you can end up with even more conflict. But let’s be clear. SROs do not make policy, nor are they to blame for black students being suspended at a higher rate than whites.

Some boardmembers are trying to make this a racial issue when it is merely a safety issue.

Most teachers and principals are not capable of breaking up a fight, much less preventing one.

And any school board member who votes to ditch SROs should be made to stand guard in hallways for a month.

Keeping the peace is not easy these days, especially in Guilford, and getting rid of school resource officers would result in an escalation of school violence.

If anyone needs to be replaced in Guilford, it’s not the SROs. It’s the school board.

Jim Longworth is host of “Triad Today” which can be seen Friday mornings at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7), and Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on UPN 48 (cable channel 14).