SROs: NBC News Interview
I was approached for an interview by NBC Nightly News last week and had an interview with them for about 30 minutes. The interview went great and the final edited piece was aired last night on Lester Holt’s NBC Nightly News around 7pm on NBC News Now. I applaud the producer and the reporter for representing the story very much down-the-middle and not adding a bunch of “spin” to it to tell a different narrative.
But I’d also like to peel the curtain back a little bit and let you in on what wasn’t aired from my side… A lot of the interview focused on the emotions around the drama here locally. They wanted to hear about what families in our community were feeling in the wake of these incidents locally, and I spoke about the uncertainty of safety that was felt as well as the anxiety that was experienced by so many in the first few days of our school year here: panic attacks, kids transferring to other districts, families keeping their kids home from school until things calmed down, etc. I also spoke at length about how NASRO.org reports frequently on the efficacy of SROs and how a few of the benefits of having an SRO include a “reduction of the likelihood that a student will get a criminal record” and “increase of the likelihood that students (particularly those with mental health issues) will get the help they need from the social service and health care systems.”
When they asked me about what I, personally, felt when I heard about the incident on the first day of school, I responded with my concerns for the student that was arrested and the family that surrounds them. Why did they feel like bringing a gun to school was necessary? Why didn’t they feel like they had the support and safety that we desire our schools to be? And ultimately, what do we need to do in order to better support our students as we move forward?
But this situation continues to develop, and we still have a lot of work to do to create an environment where ALL of our students can trust that our schools are a safe place for them to be.