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Monday, August 15, 2022
ArlingtonOpinionEditorial: SROs must be returned to Arlington schools

Editorial: SROs must be returned to Arlington schools

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Compounding the tragedy of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, has been the constantly shifting parade of “facts” that seem to have changed incessantly, as officials down there either can’t get their stories straight or are trying to cover their own behinds amid growing rage.

But it does appear now that, while the school district employed school-resource officers, there was no such presence inside the elementary school at the fateful moment. It was a case of basic math: The school district has fewer SROs than it has schools.

Couple that with some egregious lapses in security followed by what appears to have been monumentally incorrect decision-making by police on the scene, and a bad situation became infinitely worse.

The County Board was quick to jump into the fray – swimming in their own lane is not their thing – by putting out a statement and trying to score cheap political points off the tragedy. If nothing else, they are sadly predictable.

This is the same County Board, mind you, that did not push back when the Arlington School Board, under pressure from the far left and using justifications still somewhat too bizarre to comprehend, dumped its own school-resource-officer program a year ago.

As with so many things, Arlington school leaders thought they’d win plaudits for being on the vanguard of a progressive bandwagon by eliminating in-school officers, when in fact most of the other local school districts looked at them and wondered, not for the first time, if these people were nuts. (Alexandria’s School Board dropped its SRO program too, though not without reservations, then quickly brought it back when, to no one’s surprise except those with no common sense, incidents of inside-the-schools violence rose.)

One wonders if Arlington’s School Board members will have a change of heart, now that there is a national drumbeat for more, not less, public-safety presence in schools. Sadly, one presumes not. To go back and rescind the policy would require admitting they were wrong to begin with.

Since fewer than 1 in 20 Arlington residents could name even one Arlington School Board member, and perhaps just 1 in 500 could name all five, here they are: Barbara Kanninen, David Priddy, Cristina Diaz-Torres, Reid Goldstein, Mary Kadera. Time to start holding them accountable, individually and collectively, for their decisions.

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