Greetings, NASRO family,
I know you are troubled as much as I am by nationwide attacks against school resource officer programs. I want you to know that NASRO is doing everything we can to defend SRO programs. Over multiple channels, we are communicating the value of programs that operate under NASRO best practices with carefully selected, specially trained officers and the risks of discontinuing such programs.
At the same time, we’re very concerned about potential violence when schools resume in-person classes this fall. History shows that the first months after any school vacation (especially September and January) often bring increases in school violence, in part because some students have been stuck in homes where they are victimized, and some don’t receive the mental health support they normally get in school. SROs must be prepared for the possibility that the unprecedented break caused by the pandemic could exacerbate these issues, leading to unusual levels of violence upon return to school.
Our virtual National School Safety Conference is designed to help deal with both of these significant issues.
A primary issue raised by SRO opponents is the potential for unjust treatment of students of color. Our conference will feature a town hall panel discussion focused on developing successful relationships with diverse students. Panelists will include SROs and former students. In addition, Dr. Lorie Fridell, a national expert on the psychology of bias and how it can impact law enforcement professionals, will present a session titled “Implicit Bias Awareness to Promote SRO Safety and Effectiveness.”
On the return to school issue, we will have a second town hall panel discussion, “Safely Returning to School in the Era of COVID-19,” featuring a former school police department chief, a school psychologist, and a school nurse, among others.
These and other sessions will help you do the best possible job as you return to school. They will also give you information you can share in your own community to demonstrate your commitment to best practices and to counter unfounded, generalized criticism of local SRO programs.
The unusual environment and our fabulous lineup of important sessions (see the agenda) are just two reasons to register today for the conference. The registration fee is only $200 for three days of essential content. You won’t find a better training deal anywhere. And only people who register individually will receive our 30th anniversary conference coin. Only those who login individually will receive a certificate of attendance.
Despite the necessity of going virtual, I truly believe we’ve never produced a more important National School Safety Conference. I hope you agree and will register today.
Executive Director, NASRO