4311 School Resource Officer

  • School Resource Officer (NEW) 
    Purpose, Mission, and Role

    A School Resource Officer (SRO) is a commissioned law enforcement officer in the state of Washington with sworn authority to make arrests, deployed in community-oriented policing, and assigned by the employing police department or sheriff’s office to work in schools to address crime and disorder problems, gangs, and drug activities affecting or occurring in or around K-12 schools. 

    The mission of the Yelm Community School SRO program is to improve school safety and the educational climate at the school. The role of the SRO on campus typically involves three parts: educator, informal counselor, and law enforcer. The focus of any SRO working in the district is to keep students out of the criminal justice system when possible. The SRO shall be integrated into the school community through participation in faculty and student meetings and assemblies as appropriate. SROs shall support a positive school climate by developing positive relationships with students, parents, and staff, and by helping to promote a safe, inclusive, and positive learning environment. The SRO is a valuable team member of School Based Threat Assessment Teams, which are preventative in purpose. The SRO is encouraged to participate consistent with Policy and Procedure 3225 – School Based Threat Assessment. 

    The primary responsibility for maintaining proper order and conduct in the schools resides with school principals or their designee, with the support of other school staff. This may include minor violations of the law occurring during school hours or at school activities. The SRO program does not diminish the district’s authority and shall not be used to attempt to impose criminal sanctions in matters that are more appropriately handled within the district. Principals or their designee maintain order and handle all student discipline matters consistent with Student Discipline Policy and Procedure 3241. SROs appropriately interact with students informally to reinforce school rules. 

    Teachers and school administrators may ask an SRO to intervene if a student’s presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to others or an immediate and continuing threat of material and substantial disruption of the educational process or in other emergency circumstances consistent with 3432 – Emergencies. SROs do not need to be asked before intervening in emergencies. 

    As a general rule, law enforcement activity should take place at a location other than school premises. However, there are circumstances where formal law enforcement intervention/activity at school is warranted and may be conducted by an SRO. These law enforcement activities may include interviews and interrogations; search of a student’s person, possessions, or locker; citations, filing of delinquency petitions, referrals to a probation officer, actual arrests, and other referrals to the juvenile justice system, consistent with 3226 – Interview and Interrogations of Students on School Premises and 3230 – Student Privacy and Searches. 

    The SRO duties do not extend to immigration enforcement and the SRO will not inquire into or collect information about an individual’s immigration or citizenship status, or place of birth. Neither will the SRO provide information pursuant to notification requests from federal immigration authorities for the purposes of civil immigration enforcement, except as required by law, consistent with 4310 – District

    Relationship with Law Enforcement and Other Government Agencies. 

    Agreement, Training, and Program Review
    The district and the Yelm Police Department will adopt an agreement and annually review the SRO program using a process that involves parents, students and community members. Law enforcement agencies are responsible for training their employees, including SROs, therefore, the law enforcement agency will confirm in the agreement that SROs have been trained in all the topics required by law. Additionally, the agreement will include a process for families to file complaints with the district and local law enforcement agency related to the district SROs and a process for investigating and responding to complaints. The agreement will incorporate an annual collection and reporting of data regarding calls for law enforcement service and the outcome of each call. In addition, the agreement will also incorporate the SRO’s duties and the limitations thereof consistent with this policy, other related governing policies, and the governing regulations. 

    Cross References:    Board Policy 2121         Substance Abuse Program
                                                    2145         Recognition, Screening and Response to Distress in Students
                                                    2161         Special Education and Related Services for Eligible Students
                                                    2162         Education of Students with Disabilities under Section 504
                                                    3143         District Notification of Juvenile Offenders
                                                    3144         Release of Information Concerning Student Sexual and Kidnapping Offenders
                                                    3226         Interviews and Interrogations of Students on School Premises
                                                    3230         Student Privacy and Searches
                                                    3432         Emergencies
                                                    3241         Student Discipline
                                                    3246         Use of Isolation, Restraint and Other Uses of Reasonable Force
                                                    4210         Regulation of Dangerous Weapons on School Premises
                                                    4310         District Relationships with Law Enforcement and other Government Agencies
                                                    4314         Notification of Threats of Violence or Harm 

    Legal References:    RCW 10.93.160         Immigration and Citizenship Status
                                  RCW 26.44.030         Interviews of children
                                  RCW 26.44.050         Abuse or neglect of child – Duty of law enforcement agency or department of social and health services – Taking child into custody without court order
                                  RCW 26.44.110         Information about rights – Custody without court order – Written statement required – Contents
                                  RCW 26.44.115         Child taken into custody under court order – Information to parents
                                  RCW 28A.300.640-645         School based threat assessment program
                                  Chapter 28A.320.124         School resource officer programs
                                  20 U.S.C. 1232g         Family Education Rights and Privacy Act 

    Management Resources:  Policy and Legal News   May 2020 

    ADOPTED: 12/17/20