RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Public Schools superintendent Jason Kamras announced Thursday that he will recommend removing school resource officers (SROs) from city schools.
Kamras made the announcement while speaking to RPS students in the first Civic Voice Town Hall, where students discussed the role of police in schools.
“Based on this conversation, I will be recommending to the school board that we remove SROs from our schools and ask the City Council to reallocate those funds to mental health professionals in our schools,” Kamras said. “And I'm was just deeply moved by what you all shared today and you’re right – talk is cheap and we need action and so that is what I will be advocating for.”
I was deeply moved by our student panel today re policing in schools. They asked for action so here goes. I’ll be recommending to the School Board that we remove SROs from our schools & ask Council to reallocate the $ for mental health professionals. pic.twitter.com/S8OvQx1GlU— Jason Kamras (@JasonKamras) July 23, 2020
"I want to be clear that I have great respect for our SROs. I've had the opportunity to get to know many of them and am grateful for the contributions they've made as informal coaches, mentors, and father/mother figures," Kamras said. "My decision is rooted in the fact that maintaining the institution of policing in schools unequivocally contributes to the school-to-prison pipeline and causes many students – especially those who are Black and Latinx – to feel dehumanized. We simply cannot allow that to continue."
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To watch the full town hall meeting, click here.