Two Councilmembers Introduce Bill to Remove School Resource Officers from MCPS Schools
County Councilmembers Will Jawando and Hans Riemer introduced a bill in a Tuesday digital conference that would eliminate student resource officers, armed officers, from schools.
The bill proposes reallocating $3 million, the current budget for SROs, towards mental health services and expanded after school activities for students and training in “restorative justice” for MCPS staff members.
The officers would be reassigned within the Montgomery County Police Department.
This bill is an effort to reduce arrests in school, which disproportionately affect Black and Hispanic students, according to Jawando. State data released this summer shows that 80 percent of arrests in Maryland public schools were done by SROs with over half of the arrests being Black students despite only making up 34 percent of the students.
At the conference, the bill was met with criticism of its necessity and haste from other councilmembers.
The Board of Education has also asked the superintendent to pull data on student arrest and investigate alternatives to SROs. They are expected to hear back on this in January.
A public hearing for the bill is also set to be held on January 12, according to Jawando and Riemer.
By Adam Levine