ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — The Howard County Board of Education has approved a School Resource Officer Memorandum of Understanding for the upcoming school year.
In April, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball recommended the removal of school resource officers from middle schools.READ MORE: Howard County Executive Recommends Removal Of School Resource Officers From Middle Schools, Announces Other Changes To Program
“The school to prison pipeline has sparked debate as whether the presence of school resource officers exasperates persistent concerns,” Ball said at the time.READ MORE: Counselors Not Cops Act Would Shift Funding For School Resources Officers Toward Paying For More Counselors
On June 24, the board of education approved the MOU that includes the following:
- A vast majority of student misconduct is best addressed via to Howard County Public Schools code of conduct through classroom and in-school strategy.
- HCPSS School Administrators will implement HCPSS policies and Student Code of Conduct without involving SROs
- Both the school system and the county police will support an equity and antiracism focus by addressing systemic racism and systemic inequities.
- SROs will wear the HCPD-provided “dressed down” uniform daily; except when HCPD’s policy requires Officers to wear the standard issued uniform.
- HCPSS will provide training for SROs including Restorative Justice Practices, Culturally Responsive Practices, Racial Equity, Disability Awareness, De-escalation Practices, and other training specifically aimed at addressing racial, ethnic, and class disparities in how students are treated.
With the approval of the MOU, the SROs will return to high school buildings at the start of the 2021-22 school year. They will not be in elementary and middle schools.