A mounting effort to decrease the role of school resource officers (SRO) in Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) is gaining traction as some on the City Council have joined community activists in questioning the role of security officers in the schools.
The discussion comes as schools nationwide are considering alternatives to school resource officers or eliminating the position entirely. Alexandria’s SROs made the headlines in 2018 when one accidentally shot his gun inside George Washington Middle School.
City Councilman Canek Aguirre suggested that the position be changed from a full-time job at the school for a few of the most busy times, like arrival and dismissal, but aren’t positioned throughout the day in the school
The issue was raised at a public hearing on the budget earlier this week by representatives from Arlandria-based Tenants and Workers United. Youth organizers at the event said SROs are an intrusive presence that make some students feel unsafe.
The position was created in 1997 at George Washington Middle School with the opposite goal. According to the city:
All officers selected to the SRU attend a 40-hour School Resource Officer School. This training is provided by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services- Center for School Safety. The SROs also receive additional specialized training from the ACPS and other training sources on a wide range of subjects: dealing with kids who have emotional & educational issues, school policy, laws of search, seizure & arrest on school grounds, how to prevent and deal with an active school shooting incident and many other related topics.
The program has expanded over the years and today there is one SRO sergeant and five SROs.
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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).
ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.
This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.
If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!
In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!
We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.
Mark your calendars and join us for the Family Fun Fall Fest on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 11am – 2pm!
This FREE in-person event will be held at the Shoppes at Foxchase, located at 4641 Duke St, Alexandria, VA