Resource Vs. Restrain

 In #zerobarriers, Why is this still a thing Wednesday
A child is sitting in-front of a chalk board, his arms are handcuffed behind his back at the elbows.

How far is too far when talking about school security? Photo credit:ACLU

School resource officers or SROs are often viewed as a necessary resource to keep schools safe. More often than not, SRO’s ensure that our kids have a safe place to learn and grow.  Just google search ‘school resource officer saves children’ and you will find several stories with a happy conclusion like this one.

With all the terrible things that happen in our schools now days, I am thankful that most communities have the opportunity to have a SRO on-site. Unfortunately, stories about SRO’s are not always positive; many leave us wondering if some are going too far to keep kids safe.

SRO’s are often faced with disruptive behaviors, and may not always have proper training to deal with a child who has specific needs.  Try google ‘child handcuffed by school resource officer‘. All too often; children are being physically restrained while demonstrating difficult or disruptive behavior.

We covered this issue back in 2015, and unfortunately it’s still a thing. Recently a student with specific needs died after being restrained. Read this heartbreaking story here. Law enforcement agencies and schools alike have long known that training can improve outcomes in situations such as these.  Read this article from 2006.  Despite our best efforts, this is still a thing.

I do not have a good solution to offer, and I am not pretending to understand every situation that a child was forcefully restrained. I can however say without regret, that there needs to be more resources available to schools and law enforcement agencies when it comes to working with children with specific needs. What could be done to help ensure that those protecting our children are armed with something more compassionate than handcuffs? Tell us here.  To find out how you can be proactive against seclusion and restraint click here.


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