Six schools applied for grants to pay for officers
PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Education will forward a recommendation to the State Board of Education that school safety grants requested by six Phoenix Union High School District schools for armed campus officers (SROs) be approved. The recommendation proceeds despite last week’s decision by the district governing board to not have law enforcement officers on district campuses.
Horne stated, “The decision of the Phoenix Union governing board against armed law enforcement officers not only goes against the recommendation of their own safety committee but is a slap to the leadership of those schools and to the classroom teachers association who called for SROs because safety is needed. In addition, an OH Predictive Insights poll shows that 79 percent of parents within Phoenix Union boundaries also support having officers for the children’s safety. The board's decision was irresponsible.
Our first responsibility is to protect the safety and the lives of students and staff. The worst tragedy would be for a maniac to invade a school and kill students with no police officer there to protect them. In addition, the police officers are there all year, befriend the students, so students view them as friends rather than as the enemy, and the police officers also teach courses.
At Phoenix Union, teachers especially wanted police officers because they do not feel safe.
As a member of a school board for 24 years, I became aware that there can be a difference between the views of the people who show up at a meeting, and of the community as a whole. Some years ago, a group of anti-police teenagers invaded the Phoenix Union School Board meeting, and the board folded and got rid of their police officers. When the Phoenix Union committee recommended that the police officers be hired back, the Department of Education commissioned the OH Predictive Insights poll that showed 79 percent of parents living within Phoenix Union’s boundaries support having a law enforcement officer on campus.
We get reports of students at Phoenix Union bringing guns and drugs to school.
The decision to ignore the wishes of some of their own principals and teachers as well as the vast majority of parents in the district, in favor of a small group that invaded the school board, that have immature views regarding the need for police protection, was an irresponsible decision.”
The schools submitting grant applications are Cesar Chavez, Maryvale, Metro Tech, North, South Mountain, and Trevor Browne high schools.