October 28, 2015 / By We'Ced
Tags: #assaultatspringvalley, #blacklivesmatter, Merced Police, merced SRO, police, school discipline, school police, school resource officer, school to prison pipeline, spotlight, spring valley high, SRO
In the wake of a video showing Columbia, South Carolina’s Officer Ben Fields apparently slamming and dragging a young black student at Spring Valley High School, the role of police officers in our schools has become the focus of nation-wide debate. Though Fields was fired, many are blaming the student for supposedly inciting the attack by not complying with teachers and administrators before Fields was called to the classroom, including Fields’ superior Sheriff Leon Lott who said the student “is responsible for initiating this action.”
We’Ced Youth Media took the incident as an opportunity to look at the issue locally. According to our city website, at the high school level Merced School Resource Officers (SRO’s) are meant to “maintain order on each of the campuses” and “identify ‘at risk’ juveniles and work with them to try to change their behavior.” Here, We’Ced reporters reflect on their experiences with SRO’s in the past and what they feel the role of SRO’s should be in our local schools.