Corey's Goal - Education
Our Message for Students
- Ask for help
- If you find yourself in an uncomfortable disciplinary situation, ask to have your parent present and/or ask for an advocate such as the school social worker, school psychologist, or school nurse.
- Protect yourself
- You do not have to give over information that will self incriminate. You do not have to give the passcode to your phone if they confiscate your phone. You do not have to answer all their questions. Tell them you want to wait until your parent can be present.
- Chances are if you have something on your phone, in your backpack, in your car, in your pocket that you know you shouldn’t have then you’re right. Get rid of it. Don’t put yourself at risk. Do not share inappropriate material on social media. Just don’t do it.
- We understand
- Your parents were teenagers once too. It may seem hard to believe but we have made mistakes too. We get it. We understand. We are your advocates. We love you. If you feel you can’t turn to your parents, then find another trusted adult. If you have no one in your life that you can trust, then reach out to us. We will be your advocates.
Our Message for Parents
- It can happen to your child
- Impulsive suicide can happen to any child who is put in a position where they feel like their life is over. Don't think that your child is safe because they have no history of mental health issues or because you've had conversations with them about suicide and you know they would never do it. Don't feel your child is safe because they have a good support system and they know they can come to you for help. Every child is at risk. We need to protect them and educate them so this does not happen again.
- Know your School
- Does your school have an SRO?
- Does your school have a memorandum of understanding with the police department that spells out what the SRO can and can't do?
- Who is your child's dean?
- What is your school's policy on contacting parents before questioning minors?
- At what point would you contact a lawyer if your child were in trouble at school?
- You have a voice to make change. You can file a complaint or go in front of the school board if you want to see change at your school.
Our Message for Administrators
- Follow the Department of Education recommendations on SROs in schools.
- SROs should NOT be involved in disciplining students at school.
- Enact a Memorandum of Understanding that clearly spells out what the role of the SRO will be at your school and train everyone so that it's clear.
- Get a warrant
- Protect yourself by getting a warrant before searching a child's cell phone.
- Protect students
- Provide an advocate for a child who is in a serious disciplinary situation. Involve the school social worker, school psychologist, school nurse.
- Protect the mental health of students. Know that impulsive suicide can happen when a child is in an intense disciplinary situation.
- Remember that these are children with underdeveloped brain function, are prone to impulsivity and lack decision-making skills especially in stressful situations.
- Don't criminalize typical teenage behavior. We all know teenagers make mistakes.
- Allow us to be the parents
- Contact us before questioning a student about a serious disciplinary matter. Often times, we have insight into the issue.
- We know our child better than you do. We are in a better position to protect them. Allow us that opportunity.
ACLU SRO Program Policy Recommendations1
- End the routine policing of schools. Police should enter schools only to address threats to physical safety.
- Commit to the objective of providing equal educational opportunities and positive school climate for all students in all schools, and to taking a positive and supportive approach to students who are struggling, whether in academics or in behavioral development.
- End the practice of arrests and referral to law enforcement for common adolescent behaviors, including but not limited to misdemeanor offenses such as disturbing schools and disorderly conduct. Adopt school codes of conduct that eschew zero tolerance for more appropriate, child-driven responses to challenging behavior.
- Hold police to the same standards in schools as applied elsewhere in our communities. When police enter schools, they should abide by the highest ethical standards and, when in doubt, should err on the side of providing greater protection for children’s rights.
- Invest in supportive resources. Hire personnel such as mental health counselors and community intervention workers to establish a holistic response to student behavioral needs. Train teachers, school administrators, and other officials who interact with students in deescalation, mediation, and crisis intervention. Adopt restorative justice and mediation approaches.
- Enact policies that create specific protocols for when and how police should interact with students in schools. Schools must have an internal crisis plan with de-escalation techniques and protocols to follow before calling police. When police are called or seek access to a student, the school should (i) notify a parent or guardian to provide them an opportunity to be present and (ii) always read a student their rights.
- Police should reform policies and training for responding to youth, including, but not limited to when responding at schools. Designate at least some officers to receive special training and leadership on juvenile response. Training topics should include adolescent development, implicit bias, communication, de-escalation, and use of force, including handcuffs and other forms of restraints.
- Collect, review, and provide the public with quality data on police activity in schools. Police activity in schools should be reviewed on a quarterly basis with attention to racial disparities, the treatment of children with disabilities, and other metrics.
1 American Civil Liberties Union, New York NY, BULLIES IN BLUE, The Origins and Consequences of School Policing, pg 33.
How informed are you on your school policies?
- Does your school have a school resource officer (SRO) on site full time/part time?
- Is the school resource officer a police officer employed by the local police department?
- Does your school have a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the police department and the school district that clearly defines the role of the SRO? Is this MOU available to the public?
- Is the SRO involved in disciplinary matters at school?
- Does school policy allow your child to be questioned at school by the SRO without first contacting the parents?
- Does school policy allow the SRO to search and seize your child's cell phone, backpack, and personal belongings at school without your knowledge?
- If your child does something off campus that violates school policy or the law, can they be punished at school by the SRO and/or the dean?
- Is the principal notified before a child gets questioned at school by the SRO?
- When are outside police called in to question a child and are the parents notified before outside police are contacted?
What is a Station Adjustment?
- According to Illinois Compiled Statutes (705 ILCS 405/5-301) "A minor arrested for any offense or a violation of a condition of previous station adjustment may receive a station adjustment for that arrest as provided herein."
- In the case of a juvenile, law enforcement authorities can issue a station adjustment rather than pressing criminal charges that would leave the minor with a permanent criminal record.
"A formal station adjustment is defined as a procedure when a juvenile police officer determines that there is probable cause to believe the minor has committed an offense and an admission by the minor of involvement in the offense." (2)(a) "The minor and
parent, guardian, or legal custodian must agree in writing to the formal station adjustment and must be advised of the consequences of violation of any term of the agreement." (2)(b) "The minor and parent, guardian or legal custodian shall be provided a copy of
the signed agreement of the formal station adjustment." (2)(c)
Learn More About Schools and the School Resource Officer (SRO) Program
Introduced in the 1950's in Flint, Michigan, the School Resource Officer (SRO) program was started to . . .
- Foster relationships between the police and students
- Revitalize the image of law enforcement