LWVP Sends Letter Regarding Potential Hiring of a School Resource Officer

LWVP Sends Letter Regarding Potential Hiring of a School Resource Officer

LWV Making Democracy Work
Type: 
News

 The League of Women Voters of Piedmont sent the following letter to the Superintendent of Schools, Piedmont Mayor, City Council Members and School Board. The letter addresses the League's concern about the City's making a decision regarding hiring a School Resource Officer prior to obtaining adequate information and disclosing this information to the members of our community.

______________________________________

February 11, 2019

Randall Booker, Superintendent
Piedmont Unified School District
760 Magnolia Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94611
rbooker@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Robert McBain, Mayor
City of Piedmont
120 Vista Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94611
rmcbain@piedmont.ca.gov

Re: Retention of Police Officer to Serve Full-Time in Piedmont Unified School District

Dear Messrs. Booker and McBain:

I write to you on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Piedmont. Our organization
supports the importance of transparency in local government and a high level of education
within the Piedmont Unified School District. It is our understanding that the Board of Education
will be voting during its upcoming February board meeting on the issue of whether to employ a
full-time police officer in the school district as a School Resource Officer. We are also informed
that should the Board of Education approve the employment of this officer, the City Council will
then vote on whether to approve this position since the officer would be a member of the
Piedmont Police Department. Our League Board has discussed this issue and we believe that a
decision by the Board of Education and the City Council on this matter is premature at this time,
and as such, would be counter to our positions on local government and education.

Specifically, we are concerned with transparency and the ability of the Board of Education and
the City Council to make an informed decision on this matter with the information currently at
their disposal. For example, we are concerned there is a lack of information surrounding the
explicit objectives of having a police officer on school campuses, what training the officer would
be required to fulfill, what weapons the officer would carry or retain on campus, what the
officer’s objectives would be, how success or failure will be measured, and what consequences
may arise for the students as a result of having an officer on campus. These are just several
among many unanswered questions that we feel should be addressed prior to any formal
decision-making processes and, in fact, long before students, teachers and parents are
surveyed on their views on the issue of hiring such a police officer to serve in the schools.

We thus urge both the Board of Education and the City Council to exercise due diligence in
gathering information about both the benefits and potential consequences in hiring a School
Resource Officer, and to fully communicate and share information with all stakeholders in this
community about these details before holding any formal vote on the matter.

Sincerely,

Nancy A. Beninati
President, League of Women Voters Piedmont

cc: Piedmont Board of Education
Piedmont City Council

 

League to which this content belongs: 
Piedmont