Lawmakers Want More SROs In Public Schools

Jan 8, 2016

Two Democratic lawmakers have plans to expand law enforcement in public schools.

Two Democratic lawmakers want more School Resource Officers in Florida's public schools.
Credit Ian D. Keating/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ian-arlett/

Senator Jeremy Ring of Margate and Representative Joe Geller of Dania Beach are pushing for all public schools to have dedicated school resource officers. Geller says the measure will keep schools safer.

“And the purpose is to make sure that at every school, there is someone to help protect the children but that that person is a fully trained and licensed, sworn law enforcement officer,” he said.

But some worry a stronger law enforcement presence in schools could have unintended consequences. Recently a video went viral depicting a South Carolina student being forcibly dragged out of class by a school resource officer. But Geller says SROs are meant to protect students, not discipline them.

"Typically, school resource officers are not there to deal with, at least in Florida, are not there to deal with internal discipline matters. Those are left to educators," he said.

Currently, public schools may have school resource officers, but are not required to do so. Many middle and high schools have dedicated SROs, but the officers may rotate among elementary schools.