MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County will begin to training middle school teachers on how to de-escalate situations with students instead of calling the police to intervene.
Currently, Montgomery County Public Schools have student resource officers assigned to schools as an extra layer of security. This bill, which was unanimously approved this week, will help prepare over 1400 middle school teachers and staff in restorative justice training.
Councilmember Will Jawando and Hans Riemer believe it’s needed to lessen the disproportionate rates of arrests throughout the school system.
Data shows minority students are over six times more likely to be suspended and 278% more likely to be arrested in school than white students. The training is designed to mediate conflicts without resorting to a higher level of discipline.
“We all seem to agree that when a kid messes up in school the adult who responds should behave like a social worker, highly trained and working with young people, young people’s emotions, and restorative justice,” said former MCPS student board member Matt Post.
There will be training in over 40 middle schools in the county. The bill does not eliminate student resource officers, but sponsors of the bill are hoping this new method will prove SRO’s are not needed.