RELATIONS WITH SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES
NEPN/NSBA Code: KLGA
The School Committee recognizes that a cooperative relationship with law enforcement authorities is desirable for the protection of students and staff and in maintaining a safe school environment. To that end, the School Department and the Yarmouth Police Department have established a School Resource Officer (SRO) program. The School Committee hereby officially designates the police officers assigned by the Yarmouth Police Department to serve as SROs as the law enforcement unit of the School Department. The primary purpose of the SRO is to establish positive relationships among students, staff, parents, and community to assist in maintaining the physical security and safety of the school.
In keeping with the School Department’s mission, the primary roles of the SROs are to:
1. Establish a positive rapport between the SRO and the student population.
2. Provide instruction on:
a. drug prevention;
b. crime prevention and safety;
c. bullying; and,
d. conflict resolution.
3. Establish positive rapport between the SRO and parents, faculty, staff, and administrators. Moreover, the SRO will establish a trusting channel of communication with students, parents and teachers.
4. Serve as a positive role model to instill in students good moral standards, good judgment and discretion, respect for other students, and a sincere concern for the school community.
5. Promote citizen awareness of the law to enable students to become better-informed and effective citizens, while empowering students with the knowledge of law enforcement efforts and obligations regarding enforcement as well as consequences for violations of the law.
6. Serve as a confidential source of counseling for students and parents concerning problems they face as well as providing information on community resources available to them.
7. Reduce incidents of school violence.
8. Reduce criminal offenses committed by juveniles and young adults. 8. Provide support and assistance to the school administration and staff to maintain a safe and constructive learning environment.
9. Assist individual students and their families in addressing issues related to law enforcement and helping students to have a meaningful school experience.
10. Serve as a resource to administrators and staff concerning law enforcement and child welfare issues.
11. Serve as a resource to administrators and teachers in planning and providing age-appropriate educational programs that foster respect for the law, an understanding of law enforcement, and safe and healthy behaviors.
12. Serve as a liaison between the schools and the Yarmouth Police Department in addressing issues of concern to both departments.
13. Enforce local, state and federal laws.
School administrators and staff have the primary responsibility for maintaining proper order in the schools and for disciplining students for violations of School Committee policies and school rules. However, the Superintendent and administrators may seek the assistance of an SRO and/or the Yarmouth Police Department when they believe there is a threat to the welfare and safety of the schools, students and/or staff. The Superintendent and administrators shall also inform an SRO and/or the Yarmouth Police Department when they have reason to suspect that a student or staff member may have violated a state or federal criminal law.
In general, the School Committee discourages SROs and other law enforcement authorities from using the schools as a venue to arrest and/or question students for activities not related to or affecting the schools. The Superintendent and administrators retain the authority to deny access to students for non-school-related investigations.
Under this policy, SROs are considered to be school officials with legitimate educational interests in reviewing educational records in order to perform their professional responsibilities.
The School Committee authorizes the Superintendent to develop administrative procedures, in consultation with the Yarmouth Police Department, to guide interactions between the schools, the SROs and the Yarmouth Police Department. Such procedures should safeguard the rights of students and parents and be consistent with School Committee policies. Administrators may also develop appropriate building-level procedures regarding the role and activities of SROs in their schools. All administrative procedures must be consistent with School Committee policies, as well as the SRO program agreement between the Yarmouth School Department and the Yarmouth Police Department, and are subject to approval by the School Committee.
Legal Reference: 20 USC 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99 MDOE Rule Chapter 33 Cross Reference: KLGA-R - School Resource Officer/Law Enforcement Administrative Procedure JRA – Student Education Records and Information JKAA/JKAA-R – Physical Restraint and Seclusion of Students
Adopted: May 14, 2020