4311 School Resource Officer

  • School Resource Officer

    At the beginning of each school year, if the district has safety and security staff working on school property, the district must present to and discuss with students, and distribute to students’ families, information about the role and responsibilities of safety and security staff.

    “Safety and security staff” means a school resource officer, a school security officer, a campus security officer, and any other commissioned or noncommissioned employee or contractor, whose primary job duty is to provide safety or security services for a public school.

    A School Resource Officer (SRO) means 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 build positive relationships with students and address crime and disorder problems, gangs, and drug activities affecting or occurring in or around K-12 schools. School resource officers should focus on keeping students out of the criminal justice system when possible and should not be used to attempt to impose criminal sanctions in matters that are more appropriately handled within the educational system.

    Purpose
    The mission of the Yelm Community School safety and security services program is to improve school safety and the educational climate at the school. The safety and security staff shall be integrated into the school community through participation in faculty and student meetings and assemblies as appropriate. They 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. Safety and security staff are valuable team members of School Based Threat Assessment Teams, which are preventative in purpose. They are encouraged to participate consistent with Policy and Procedure 3225 – School Based Threat Assessment.

    Limitations
    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. Principals or their designee maintain order and handle all student discipline matters consistent with Student Discipline Policy and Procedure 3241. A school resource officer is prohibited from becoming involved in formal school discipline situations that are the responsibility of school administrators.

    Requests for Intervention
    Teachers and school administrators may ask safety and security staff 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. Safety and security staff do not need to be asked before intervening in emergencies.

    Law Enforcement Activity and Immigration Enforcement
    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 premises is warranted and may be conducted by an SRO. These law enforcement activities by an SRO 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, and effective January 1, 2022, consistent with state law regarding a juvenile’s access to an attorney when contacted by law enforcement.

    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. 

    Annual Review and Adoption of Agreements with Law Enforcement Agencies or Security Guard Companies

    If a law enforcement agency or security guard company supplies safety and security staff to work on school property when students are expected to be present, the district must annually review and adopt an agreement with the law enforcement agency or security guard company. The agreement must:

    1. Include a clear statement regarding safety and security staff duties and responsibilities related student behavior and discipline that: prohibits a school resource officer from becoming      involved in formal school discipline situations that are the responsibility of school administrators; recognizes that a trained safety and security staff knows when to informally interact with students to reinforce school rules and when to enforce the law; clarifies the circumstances under which teachers and school administrators may ask safety and security staff to intervene with a student; explains how safety and security staff will be engaged in creating a positive school climate and positive relationships with students; and describes the process for families to file complaints with the school and, when applicable, the local law enforcement agency or the company that provides the safety and security staff on contract related to safety and security staff and a process for investigating and responding to complaints;
    2. Include a jointly determined hiring and placement process and a performance evaluation process; and
    3. Either confirm that the safety and security staff have completed training series documentation provided by the educational service district or describe the plan for safety and security staff      to complete the training series required by law.

    The agreement review process must involve parents, students and community members.

    The superintendent or designee will develop additional procedures to implement this policy.

    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
                                                          3225         School-Based Threat Assessment
                                                          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                                                                                

    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, 3/24/22

    4311P School Safety and Security Services Program Procedures

    Safety and Security Staff Training
    The district recognizes that trained safety and security staff know when to informally interact with students to reinforce school rules and when to enforce the law. Prior to assigning safety and security staff to work on school property when students are expected to be present, the district and its contractors must either:

    • Confirm that the safety and security staff have completed training series documentation provided by the educational service district; or
    • Require the safety and security staff to complete the following educational service district training series: two components for school resource officers and three components for other safety and security staff, which must meet the following requirements:
      (i) All safety and security staff must complete classroom training on the subjects listed below, within the first six months of working on school property when students are expected to be present:
    • Constitutional and civil rights of children is schools, including state law governing search and interrogation of youth in schools;
    • Child and adolescent development;
    • Trauma-informed approaches to working with youth;
    • Recognizing and responding to youth mental health issues;
    • Educational rights of students with disabilities, the relationship of disability to behavior, and best practices for interacting with students with disabilities;
    • Collateral consequences of arrest, referral for prosecution, and court involvement;
    • Resources available in the community that serve as alternatives to arrest and prosecution and pathways for youth to access services without court or criminal justice involvement;
    • Local and national disparities in the use of force and arrest of children;
    • De-escalation techniques when working with youth or groups of youth;
    • State law regarding restraint and isolation in schools, including RCW 28A.600.485
    • Bias free policing and cultural competency, including best practices for interacting with students form particular backgrounds, including English learner, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ), immigrant, female, and nonbinary;
    • The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g) requirements, including limits on access to and dissemination of student records for non-educational purposes; and
    • Restorative justice principles and practices;

    (ii) All safety and security staff must complete two days of on-the-job training with experienced safety and security staff, at the school of the experienced staff, within the first year of working on school property when students are expected to be present; and 
    (iii) Safety and security staff who are not school resource officers must complete at least six check-in trainings with experienced staff within the first year of working on school property when students are expected to be present.

    Complaint Resolution Process
    The district recognizes the importance of establishing a simple and effective means for resolving concerns that may arise related to safety and security staff. The following complaint resolution system will address concerns regarding safety and security staff, provide for the investigation of complaints, and provide for timely communication of the resolution of the complaint to the complainant.

    The complaint resolution system shall allow parents and guardians and adult students to submit complaints. A complaint shall mean a written claim by a parent or guardian or adult student that alleges improper conduct by safety and security staff that has directly aggrieved them.

    The following procedure has been established for resolving a written complaint filed by a parent or guardian or adult student.

    Step One
    The parent or guardian or adult student will present the complaint in writing to the school principal or their designee within 5 calendar days of the action or incident that gave rise to the complaint. The written statement of the complaint will contain:

    1. The facts upon which the complaint is based as the parent or guardian or adult student who is filing the complaint sees them;
    2. A reference to the policies/procedures of the district which have allegedly been violated; and
    3. The remedies sought.

    Failure to submit a written complaint within the timeline specified will result in waiver of the complaint.

    If a written complaint is filed in compliance with the timeline specified above, the parent or guardian or adult student will discuss this complaint with the school principal or their designee. A sincere effort will be made to resolve the complaint at this level. If the parent or guardian or adult student does not appeal the complaint to the superintendent or their designee in writing within 5 calendar days of the parent or guardian or adult student's meeting with the school principal or their designee, the complaint will be waived.

    Step Two
    If the parent or guardian or adult student does appeal the complaint to the superintendent or their designee in writing within 5 calendar days of the parent or guardian or adult student's meeting with the school principal or their designee, the superintendent or their designee will, within 15 calendar days of the receipt of the complainant’s written appeal, meet with that parent or guardian or adult student to hear their claim.

    The superintendent or their designee will render a decision regarding the appeal within 30 calendar days of the parent or guardian or adult student's meeting with the superintendent or their designee. The superintendent or their designee’s decision will be considered final.

    Annual Data Collection and Reporting
    The district must annually collect the following information on safety and security staff:

    1. The total number of safety and security staff working in the district and in each school building, and number of days per week that each staff works;
    2. The name of any law enforcement agency or private organization with which the district has an agreement for safety and security services;
    3. A description of each incident where safety and security staff were involved that resulted in student discipline, use of force against a student, or a student arrest. For each student involved in the incident, the description must include:
      (i) The student’s race, ethnicity, and other demographics; and
      (ii) Whether the student has an individualized education program or plan developed under section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973;
    4. The number of complaints related to job duties and student interactions filed against safety and security staff; and
    5. Other school safety and security information required by the office of the superintendent of public instruction.

    The district must annually submit any agreements with a law enforcement agency or security guard company and the information collected above the time and in the manner required by the office of the superintendent of public instruction. The office of the superintendent of public instruction will make the submitted agreements and information publicly available. To the extent possible, information collected under C. above must be disaggregated as provided in RCW 28A.300.042.

    Adoption Date: 3/24/22
    Revised Dates: