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Discussions continue surrounding future role of SROs in Harrisonburg schools

A townhall was held Thursday night and presentations were given from people outside of the taskforce showing data and alternatives to officers in schools.
Discussions continue surrounding future role of SROs in Harrisonburg schools
Discussions continue surrounding future role of SROs in Harrisonburg schools(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 11:48 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Earlier this year, a task force was created to look at the role of SROs in Harrisonburg City Public Schools and back in June the task force heard from Harrisonburg Police officers.

A townhall was held Thursday night and presentations were given from people outside of the taskforce, showing data and alternatives to officers in schools.

One presenter explained that some students may not feel safe with officers in schools.

Another shared an alternative approach to dealing with conflict in schools.

Teresa Hepler & Frank Valdez with the Legal Aid Justice Center explained an idea of replacing SROs with different programs.

“Programs could be school climate coaches, confidence building techniques, de-escalation and self regulation,” Valdez said.

Audience members could write questions for the panel, but during the question period some community members stood up and said they thought there would be more discussion rather than a presentation.

Some parents went on to say why they do or do not agree with SROs in the schools.

The discussion will now move to focus groups for parents and students.

A copy of the townhall will be on the HCPS website in the coming days.

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