In yet another example showing how progressivism tends to go wrong, public schools in Alexandria, Virginia, are reportedly dealing with an increasing number of incidents involving violence between students. The issue became worse after the city council voted to remove school resource officers (SRO) in May of this year, partly as a result of the defund the police craze. As with most other leftist policies, this particular one is also placing people in peril in the name of wokeism.
Brawls, Slugfests, and Donnybrooks
An ABC7 report explains that videos of middle and high school students “punching, kicking, and stomping classmates and adults on and around school property” have been circulating on social media. These incidents are being filmed by other students in Alexandria on their cell phones.
“The fights, posted on Instagram and Facebook, paint an alarming picture. One video shows an assault in a school cafeteria, another, a brawl in a parking lot with a group of students kicking a classmate on the ground. And a third, captures a violent attack by high school students punching and kicking an adult male in the face and head at a Mcdonald’s near the high school. The video shows a hostile verbal exchange between several students and the adult male which quickly turns into a fight.”
Many parents seem to believe the increase in violent altercations is tied to the Alexandria City Council’s decision to remove school resource officers and “reallocate the $800,000 in funding to hire mental health professionals.”
The officers were relieved of their positions at the start of the 2021 school term. So far, they have not hired any mental health counselors for the schools.
School resource officers are members of law enforcement tasked with working with the schools and students to ensure safety. They respond to any threats or violent incidents and can make arrests when criminal activity occurs. However, many on the hard left claim that these individuals do more harm than good.
The Debate Over School Resource Officers
Evelin Urrutia, the Director of Tenants & Workers United of Alexandria, told ABC7 that minority students feel “intimidated” by the presence of uniformed officers and that there are better uses for the funds used to have them on campus. “What I’m saying is that we need a lot of moral support. What is the mental support? Mental health support is so important for our kids and for staff,” she said.
Damon Minnix, a police officer and the president of the Southern States Benevolent Association, disagrees. He argued that having SROs on campus presents a deterrent to those considering violent acts. “Wherever you have a police officer, safety tends to follow,” he insisted.
ABC7 notes that police reports from 2017 to the present reveal violence has been present in Alexandria schools even when SROs are on duty. However, the outlet notes that a police source “says the reports only show about half of the violence,” as the rest are “resolved on-site without arrests.”
When presented with this data, Minnix responded: “Well, for all crimes, you know that the faster you can arrive on scene, the more likely you are to stop it from becoming more serious.”
The city’s school officials acknowledged the uptick in violence, including an incident in which one student was shot and another arrested for bringing a firearm onto the campus. The school superintendent called on the city council to reinstate SROs in schools “immediately.”
Jennifer Rohrbach, one of the school’s parents, believes the school is refusing to be transparent about the increase in violence and has even criticized people for calling it out. She said: “They chastised the parents, such as myself, for advocating for our students. And again, it all goes back to one thing, safe schools for all students.”
That which is accepted as common sense by most people seems to elude the hard left, which appears unable to understand how dangerous such policies are. No sane person would be shocked by the notion that violent incidents would increase when the city’s government decided to remove SROs. It also stands to reason that more injuries would occur when there is nobody on campus to intervene in physical altercations.
Just as the “Defund the Police” campaign placed more Americans in danger by making it harder for police departments to enforce the law, taking SROs out of schools only emboldens those who wish to engage in violence, thereby increasing the chances that a student might get seriously hurt or even killed.
~ Read more from Jeff Charles.