MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — The Montgomery County Board of Education held a public hearing to gather feedback from the community about School Resource Officers (SRO).
SROs have been under an ongoing review by the district, specifically when it comes to the policing of students of color. The review of the SRO program began in the summer as national protests arose following the death of George Floyd.
As a result, the school board directed MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith to compile data and information to help assess whether to discontinue or modify the SRO program.
Lauren Payne, the president of Young People for Progress, said, “They harm students and they harm black and brown and students with disabilities at an alarming rate. The disproportionality of how this problem affects them is insane. And with these police in schools, we’re seeing a lack of mental health resources, we’re seeing a lack of counselors, we’re seeing a lack of school psychologists, all things that can be a lot more beneficial to students’ well-being rather than policing them.”
The review was expected to be completed in January but was extended. Final recommendations are now due by May. The board will be accepting further testimonies through March 25.