Report says school resource officer program makes students, parents feel ‘unsafe and targeted’

A school division in Winnipeg that ended a program bringing police officers into schools has released a report which says the program makes students and parents feel targeted and unsafe.

On Friday, the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD), released a redacted report which reviewed the division’s school resource officer (SRO) program.

The program brings police constables into elementary, middle, and high schools.

The division ultimately discontinued the program in 2021 after considering the findings of the report, which has not been made public until now.

“This review illustrates that, at best, the SRO program is ineffective in its stated goals of ‘building relationships’ and ‘promoting safety and education.’ At worst, the SRO program negatively impacts the school space by making many students and parents feel unsafe and targeted,” the report reads.

“As well, this review shows that police involvement in schools exposes families to further risks, including unwanted and unwarranted police involvement in their lives.”

It goes on to say resource officers’ involvement in schools infringes on school policies related to safety, inclusion, and educational well-being.

The report, which was completed in August 2021, recommended the LRSD immediately end the SRO program and limit any police involvement in schools.

This is a developing story. More to come.

You can read the full report here.

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