Saturday, August 6, 2011

The disservice that has been done to parents of District 150 Schools

Imagine if the school board started a letter writing campaign, to ask parents to demand that police make sure that their children are safe on the streets as they travel back and forth to school and once they reached their neighborhoods. I bet the police union wouldn't like that.

Today, the Labor Representative for the Policemen’s Benevolent Labor Committee sent a letter into the Peoria Chronicle to urge citizens to do the following:
"... contact each school board member and oppose any action that would diminish the authority of the campus police department and urge them to improve the safety in the learning environment."
I find this dissension among agencies charged with the well being of our children very concerning, and I really wish that it could have been resolved in planning meetings - not aired out in a letter sent to local blog.

When August 22 rolls around and the SROs are in place, how can we feel that our students and teachers will be safe, when the Leader of the Policeman's Benevolent Labor Committee said they won't be?

I can't help but to wonder what is the opinion of Chief Security Officer, Greg Collins on this issue. Surely he is involved in the planning meetings. Considering he came on board recently - more than likely he understood the move to the SRO program (I would hope he did at least).

The District needs to do a public relations push ASAP, to make sure that the community understands the SRO program; and more importantly, so that parents will know that their children WILL be safe when August 22nd rolls around and they return to school.

As a parent, I would like to see the District clarify publicly how the program will work AND the chief security officer needs to reassure us that he trusts what is happening and is a part of the plan to make sure it works. Parents deserve to get some type of reassurance at this point.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Emerge doesnt like the police. There have been many meetings on this but the Dist is to blind to see the liability issues this will cause.

As far the new Chief goes. He is a "yes man of the Dist" They tell him to junp and he asks how high.

Emerge Peoria said...

Not true. I don't dislike the police.

Anonymous said...

More half executed plans by Lathan that have no evidence for success.

Mahkno said...

Perhaps I am a distinct minority but I find the pronounced uniformed police presence to be a negative. Yes it is a response to a very real problem but the solution creates an environment that my wife and I find deeply troubling in itself. Children should not be in schools that have a quasi prison like atmosphere.

Elsewhere, Emerge got it right, the anger needs to be redirected to the city and community at large. Schools should be free, open, respectful of personal privacy and rights, and be safe. You raise children to value these things by role modeling it in their schools.

Maybe the school board needs to get a lot more vocal about what the community and the city council should be doing.

Next time there is an incident, the big fat finger needs to be pointed to City Hall where it belongs.

Sharon Crews said...

Mahno, I am not sure (sincerely) that the problem is with the city. First, I don't care so much about the uniforms--other attire would be OK with me. However, the guns and the handcuffs are indispensible as long as things continue as they are.

But I really believe the court system has much to do with it. Kids who have been in trouble (serious--drug dealing and worse) should not be in the schools. Kids with violent tendencies (and I call the fights I witnessed violent) shouldn't be in regular schools. However, the court system uses the schools as terms of probation.

Because the police operate within that structure--knowing that kids will just be back on the street and back in school--they probably get tired of arresting the same kids over and over.

As far as I am concerned schools should not be the place of rehabilitation for kids who are too deeply troubled.

Howeever, as with all things, kids adjust easily--I don't think most kids think about the security presence as a negative. Most kids know (sense whatever) that the police presence is not related to them--other than for protection.

At this point, I don't think you are going to find many teachers willing to jump into some of these fights, etc., to do what some once did. I was never one to jump in. I wasn't trained by education or experience to break up fights.

spikeless said...

What nonsense to suggest that the Courts control who is in which or any school. Neither juvenile nor criminal courts control what penalties are imposed by the schools such as suspension or expulsion or placement in any "specialty" learning environment. They can and do require attendance at what is available but don't control what will be available.

Sharon Crews said...

Spikeless, all I know is that as a teacher at Manual, I had students in my classes who were required to be in school as part of the terms of their probation. You are undoubtedly right that District 150 could choose to place them at an alternative site. Then I assume their placement at Manual was District 150's fault.