IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) – Parents are speaking out in both protest and support as an Eastern Iowa school district considers adding school resource officers.
“SROs are not the answer,” Julie Vandyke said, whose 15-year-old son goes to West High School in Iowa City. “There’s nothing but anecdotal evidence about whether SROs improve school climate or safety.”
The district’s Safety Advisory Committee recommended adding these officers to all high schools in the district at an April 23 board meeting. Community members have also rallied in support of the addition.
“It’s the more proactive approach,” wrestling great Dan Gable said, who has three grandchildren at ICCSD schools. “Our school would show our community we care about safety and are taking every step to protect their lives while they’re at school.”
The district is yet to take a step in either direction but its board members will be discussing threat assessment at their meeting next week.
Whatever direction they go, Vandyke wants to make sure they take the time to engage everybody.
“A decision like that should occur in community-wide discussions, specifically in the communities who are most likely to be disproportionately affected.”