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Sunday 22nd of September 2019

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Caution warranted when putting police in elementary schools

Monday 24th of June 2019 | North America, United States
The Post and Courier
News

A compromise between Charleston city officials, Charleston County and the county school district will soon bring law enforcement officers into the city’s elementary schools on a full-time basis. It’s a distressingly necessary decision in an era of once-unthinkable school shootings.

But it’s also important to emphasize that officers should not be a first-line defense for misbehavior or a substitute for effective school leadership and discipline.

Charleston has had a special quick response team of officers strategically located throughout the city so that they could answer an emergency at any public or private elementary school within moments.

It was based on national studies and police department best practices, and given the fortunate lack of serious violent incidents in the city’s elementary schools over the past several years, it seems to have worked quite well.

North Charleston has had police officers in all of its elementary schools since 2012. Mount Pleasant started the practice last year.

While Charleston’s new plan will mean new expenses for the city, cost isn’t a primary concern. The lives and livelihoods of children obviously take priority over budgetary matters.

But it is crucial that interactions between young children and police officers on a daily basis be positive experiences.

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  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO). Belgian Public Utility Foundation

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  • Head Office: Rue Mercelis, nº 50. 1050. Brussels. Belgium

    Phone: 00 32 262 988 90. Fax: 00 32 262 988 99. oijj@oijj.org

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