7/30/2016 THE CHANGING ROLE OF SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS Presenters: Bobby Kipper ([email protected]) Rebecca Kahila (Rebecca.Kahila@doe....
Author: Ernest Phillips
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THE CHANGING ROLE OF SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS Presenters: Bobby Kipper ([email protected]) Rebecca Kahila ( VDOE School Safety and Discipline Specialists


Session Goals • Define Community Policing. • Review the Virginia’s Tiered System of Support (VTSS). • Connect community policing and the SRO’s role in a tiered system of support.

AT THE CROSSROADS….  VA leads the nation in the rate of school-based referrals to law enforcement.  African American students and students with disabilities are disproportionately referred.  A referral to law enforcement alone may negatively impact students and school climate.  The justice system is overburdened with adolescent misbehavior that should be handled by the school system.  Court involvement increases the risk of a student dropping out.  Criminalizing student behavior makes schools less safe and damages communities.

POLICING AT THE CROSSROADS The division between reactivepunitive and proactive-relational policing is the cause of much controversy facing law enforcement today. – Scott Gellar and Bobby Kipper, Actively Caring for People Policing




Police are proactive in identifying underlying problems which can be targeted to reduce crime and disorder at their roots.

HOW CAN WE CHANGE THE PERCEPTION OF THE SRO’S ROLE? Change the perception of a police officer from “one who reacts to criminal activity with negative consequences” to the police officer as “a community servant leader who helps prevent crime with positive consequences.”Gellar and Kipper

THE CROSSROADS OF DISCIPLINE IN SCHOOLS Discipline n. (fr. Latin disciplina, teaching, learning) Instruction that corrects, molds, or perfects character and develops self-control. W-PBS Team Workbook, retrieved 2.2013

The Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS) is a data-driven decision making framework for establishing the academic, behavioral and social-emotional supports needed for a school to be an effective learning environment for all students.

TIER I: Core, UniversalEveryone GOAL: 100% of students achieve at high levels, miss less than 5% of attendance and have no suspensions.

Implementing well researched programs and practices demonstrated to produce good outcomes for the majority of students

Tier 1 is effective if at least 80% are meeting benchmarks

What we know about Tier I A schools sees improved behavior when it collaboratively… 1. Develops and states expectations so that they are relevant school-wide. 2. Teaches the expectations through lesson planning, advisory, class meetings. 3. Publishes and discuss the expectations for students, staff and parents. 4. Promotes a sense of belonging, inclusiveness & connection among students and families. 5. Provides engaging learning that gives students an opportunity to practice appropriate behaviors. 6. Engages in restorative practice not punishment. 7. Reinforces appropriate behavior with positive feedback.

AN SRO AT TIER I: PREVENTION • Train students and staff on law related topics. • Communicate with parents and the community on law related topics. • Build relationships in the community. • Participate in the school’s system of support training and activities. • Participate in the school-based teams that address safety and conduct. • Know the school data for discipline referrals, attendance, and achievement. • Reinforce positive behavior. • Identify potential areas of concern.


Survey the property for potential problems.

Contribute to the development of school emergency plans.

Serve as the first responder during a school emergency.

Provide guidance to school staff and students on emergency actions.

TIER II: Supplemental, Targeted GOAL: No more than approximately 20% of students needing supplemental instruction, attendance or behavioral supports.

Examples of Targeted Behavioral Interventions • Student Assistance Programming • Small Group Counseling • Mentoring • Peer Mentoring • Social Skill Instruction • Social Emotional Learning • Restorative Justice Approach • In School Support • Behavior Contract or Plan

TIER II: FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE NOT MEETING BEHAVIORAL EXPECTATIONS, SCHOOLS MAY • Form a school team that • Reviews data and receives referrals for students not meeting expectations. • Creates alternatives that address the needs of these students. • Develop Tier II alternatives like restorative justice, behavior support plans, individual or group counseling, social/emotional training, increased parent involvement.

An SRO at Tier II: Intervention  Provide a bridge to services and community resources that students and families may need.  Provide conflict management, anger management, problem solving guidance.  Mentor/Advise students.  Participate on Student Assistance Team

TIER III: Intensive, Individualized No more than 5 % of students needing intensive, individualized instruction, behavior, attendance, and mental health supports.


• • •

Understand the issues that students who need intensive supports face. Know about autism, trauma, conduct disorders, etc. Be able to respond to students with disabilities appropriately. Seek guidance from the educators who work with these students.

Law Enforcement • Ensure the public safety. Is the behavior an imminent threat to students or staff? Is there an alternative to arrest? Does the issue warrant further investigation? • Establish clear, open communication with the school administration. • Inform the school administration when a charge against a student has been filed.


The law enforcement agency that employs the SRO is in charge of the SRO.

The Officer is a RESOURCE for the school and community.


Be specific about the role of the SRO in the school community.

Be specific about the duties of the SRO in the school.

Be specific in regard to issues like searches, questioning, use of force, arrests, complaints, transporting students, data collection/reporting, grievances, alternatives to arrests and court referrals.

Be specific about qualifications and training of SROs.


Training Key 521: School Resource Officer Program; International Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc., 515 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Protecting Childhood: A Blueprint for Developmentally Appropriate School Policing in Virginia,

Hank Bohanon-Edmonson, K. Brigid Flannery, Lucille Eber, and George Sugai, Editors: Positive Behavior Support in High Schools: Monograph from the 2004 Illinois High School Forum of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Revised April 2005.

Ambra Green, Rhonda Nese, Kent McIntosh, Vicki Nishioka, Bert Eliason,@ Alondra Canizal Delabra: Key Elements of Policies to Address Discipline Disproportionality: A Guide for District and School Teams; PBIS, Sept. 2015.

Cowan, K.C., Vaillancourt, K., Rossen, E., & Pollitt, K. (2013) A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools (Brief). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

Geller, E. Scott and Kipper, Bobby: Actively Caring for People, Morgan James Publishing, NY, NY, 2017.

Skiba, Russell and Losen, Daniel J., From Reaction to Prevention: Turning the Page on School Discipline. American Educator, Winter 2015-2016

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