The MCCPTA Delegates Assembly convened for a second night of countywide debate on April 7, 2021, to consider a new resolution on School Resource Officers (SROs). The Delegates Assembly voted to rescind its 2010 Resolution on SROs and supported the approval of a new resolution that discontinues placing SROs on any high school campus, opting instead to broaden the scope of personnel available to schools, and prioritize school clusters over a single campus.The resolution urges Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to, amongst other things, rain and assign child-centered, dedicated resource personnel to each high school cluster in compliance with the 2018 Maryland Safe to Learn Act.
“The Delegates made clear, having armed police officers placed on the high school campuses does not reflect what we believe is most needed for the safety and security of all students. What the Delegates passed did not call to eliminate the SROs but instead calls for the police officers to be part of a larger team of ‘resource personnel’ dedicated to the full cluster of schools.” -Cynthia Simonson, MCCPTA President.
It has been over a decade since MCCPTA has formally reviewed its position on SROs.MCCPTA’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee was accordingly tasked with a comprehensive review of the 2010 Resolution. The DEI Committee’s position weighed the strong SRO-student connections lauded in some high school communities against the documented pattern of discrimination against black and brown students, and special education students. Additionally, factoring into the position are the clear inconsistencies regarding the use of school-based law enforcement within MCPS, then dearth of in-depth training of personnel relating to conflict resolution, crisis response, and mental health and well-being, and the lack of accountability regarding school-initiated discipline and interventions.
Last night’s meeting represented a culmination of several months of consultation and discussion amongst local PT(S)As and their communities, and involved much debate, including several proposed amendments to the language of the DEI Committee’s initial resolution.
64% of delegates representing local PTSAs voted in favor of rescinding the 2010 Resolution, while 36% of delegates were opposed. In addition, 61% of delegates voted in favor of passing the 2021 Resolution, while 39% of delegates were opposed. The full text of the final approved 2021 Resolution on School Resource Officers and School Safety and Security is attached.