The Arlington School Board would be required to reinstate school-resource officers at local schools under legislation to be considered in the upcoming General Assembly session.
Among those putting in bills on the topic is Del.-elect Timothy Anderson (R-Virginia Beach), whose measure – HB37, filed Dec. 30 – would require every school system to sign agreements with law-enforcement agencies to provide at least one resource officer for every high school and middle school, and at least one officer for every five elementary schools.
This measure, and others like it that are sure to be introduced, probably will find a receptive audience among the Republican majority in the House of Delegates. Whether it can make it through the state Senate, where Democrats hold a slim majority, is another question.
During the 2021 gubernatorial campaign, Republican Glenn Youngkin seized on the school-resource-officer issue to portray liberal school boards, such as Arlington’s, as out of touch.
Arlington School Board members last year eliminated the school-resource-officer agreement with the Arlington County Police Department. County school and police officials have been working on a revised agreement that will lay out the parameters of collaborative efforts.