Reader's View: School officers enhance education, safety

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The July 6 article concerning Duluth schools possibly removing school resource officers, or SROs, was based on a false premise. The young women interviewed claimed they had never had any contact with an SRO, let alone a disturbing one. The article said many minority students would not be willing to report or would not feel comfortable reporting a problem to an SRO. They said education should be a safe experience, and for some students the presence of SROs was an impediment to that.

Education should be conducted in a safe environment. That's one reason SROs are in schools. What the three young women were actually proposing was a comfortable learning experience. That is not what education is about.

Schools are meant to be challenging and uncomfortable, introducing students, kindergarten through Ph.D., to new, difficult, and sometimes problematic ideas and people. SROs can and should be part of that.

Being uncomfortable or fearful often results from a lack of knowledge. Removing the problematic person or idea from the situation may alleviate the discomfort but does nothing to enhance learning or understanding. It may exacerbate the problem.

SROs are community-policing officers. They are in schools to build trust, understanding, and cooperation between students and law enforcement. Removing them does nothing to make society safer or more accepting of diversity. It only builds divisions and mistrust. We must not allow that.


Our school resource officers are an integral part of the educational process. They provide opportunities for growth and acceptance, not to mention immediate intervention in dangerous occurrences. Supporting SROs makes our city a safer, more accepting, and better place to live.

Richard Kaneski


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