Harrisonburg City School Board receives recommendations from SRO Task Force

In a nearly 40-page report, task force members gave their findings and reasoning for the recommendation.
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 10:46 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Harrisonburg City School Board met for a regular meeting on Thursday evening.

One of the items on the agenda was to hear recommendations from the SRO Task Force about what to do with the School Resource Officer (SRO) program.

The school district implemented an SRO Task Force earlier this year with the goal of examining the current program in city schools and making recommendations to the board on how to move forward.

Since February, the task force has been collecting data and researching both the local SRO program and other SRO programs.

In June, the community heard from the Harrisonburg Police Department about their involvement, and in September panelists presented data and research on the negative impact of law enforcement in schools.

Now, each member of the task force has given their recommendation to the board.

“Some came on the side of they supported the SRO program. Some came on the side that they did not support the SRO program, but the one thing they did agree upon was the SRO program was wholly deficient in all the program activities it needed to document and show,” Zerell Johnson-Welch, SRO Task Force Facilitator, said.

In a nearly 40-page report, task force members gave their findings and reasoning for the recommendation.

At Thursday’s meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michael Richards also gave his recommendation. He said he recommends keeping the program for now but adopting a new memorandum of understanding.

You can find the full report is on the school board agenda here.

Dr. Richards said the board will vote on the item at its December meeting.

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