After explosion in student violence, city council that got rid of school resource officers brings them back

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Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. 

And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

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ALEXANDRIA, VA – Following a spate of violent incidents occurring at Alexandria City Public Schools, the city council narrowly voted to reallocate school resource officers at middle and high schools earlier in October – despite the same council having voted to remove officers from schools just five months earlier.

Following an hours’ long debate that stretched into the early morning hours of October 13th, the Alexandria City Council voted 4-3 in favor of restoring SROs in middle and high schools for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year.

Much of what reignited the debate of SROs, after the council voted to have them removed from school five months earlier, came after a series of videos made the rounds online that depicted fights involving Alexandria middle and high school students.

The collective footage is disturbing.

On and around school grounds, Alexandria middle and high school students can be seen punching, kicking, and stomping their peers and adults – all captured on cellphone cameras. These recordings were shared all over social media and ultimately found their way to news outlets.

A violent attack in a school cafeteria was captured on camera, as was a parking lot fight with a group of kids kicking another student who was lying on the ground.

High school students assaulted a man inside a McDonald’s restaurant near Alexandria City High School in another incident captured on camera.

The video shows students engaging in a heated verbal confrontation with an adult male customer, which quickly escalated into students punching and kicking the guy in the face and head.

Jennifer Rohrbrand, a local parent in the community, said the following about the incidents depicted on video:

“When I watch these videos, I would say my reaction is shock, complete shock.”

Evelin Urrutia, the executive director of a local NPO, found the footage concerning – but somehow still feels that eliminating SROs from schools was the right choice because she feels that uniformed officers can intimidate minority students.

Damon Minnix, who is both an Alexandria Police officer and President of the Southern States Benevolent Association, says quite the opposite – noting that uniformed officers in schools serve as a valuable deterrent to violence and other crimes:

“Wherever you have a police officer, safety tends to follow.”

Superintendent of Schools Gregory C. Hutchings Jr. literally pleaded with the city council to bring back SROs in light of the violence impacting the schools in Alexandria:

“I’m pleading with the City Council this evening that we reinstate our school resource officers immediately.”

This past May, the city council voted to remove SROs and reallocate the $800,000 budget toward onboarding more mental health professionals for schools. However, despite the SROs having already been ousted at the onset of the 2021-2022 school year, no additional mental health counselors had even been hired.

The city council meeting that started on the evening of October 12th and ran for six hours into the early morning of October 13th saw rigorous debate between those conceding that SROs are needed and those claiming there is no correlation between violence in schools and the absence of SROs.

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson found himself agreeing with parents that these concerns of violence are legitimate and grew tired with some members of the city council pushing back so hard against the idea of reinstating SROs in schools:

“I can’t think of a bigger waste of my time than what just happened for the last three hours. I thought we were going to have a productive conversation about how we move forward in our community on a problem. I don’t think we had that…This sucks. This is disastrous”

Despite the back and forth during the city council meeting, a consensus was reached to reimplement the SRO program for the remainder of the school year, with additional discussions to take place on what long term solutions will look like in future school years.

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While schools stateside are dealing with the ramifications of removing police officers from middle and high schools, and thus some are reverting the irrational decision of removal, schools across the pond are policing innocuous language. 

And the language police stems from wanting to shield children from criticisms that could potentially upset them. 

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Schools starting to ban terms like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ when describing students’ behavior

(Originally published October 14th, 2021)

LEICESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND- According to reports, the headteacher of a school in England wanted to remove “emotional words” from classroom management, so the terms “good” and “bad” are no longer allowed to be used when describing student behavior.

Teachers at Loughborough Amherst School will now describe good and bad behavior as either “skillful or unskillful.” Headmaster Dr. Julian Murphy stated that the policy, loaned from Buddhism, was “designed to take the emotional heat out of language.”

Dr. Murphy said that while he did not want teachers to be “soft,” he didn’t want them to be “shouty” either, or to make “pupils feel guilty.” He added:

“I think it’s human psychology, even when you’re an adult – if people make you feel guilty, then you get angry and then actually that’s when you’re likely to play the blame game and not to work that well. That’s when things get into a big of a vicious cycle.”

Dr. Murphy continued:

“You’re not really angry with them, your action is actually much more one of concern because they’re behaving in an extremely unskillful way, which is going to negatively affect the [sic] chances and possibly those of people around them.”

The headteacher maintained, however, that he still ran “quite a strict school,” claiming that there was a “cumulative behavior policy” that could result in expulsion for handing in homework late too many times or frequent littering. 

Dr. Murphy’s methods made headlines in 2018 when he banned traditional school reports, instead replacing them with a biannual report modeled on employee reviews in the workplace.

Murphy, who runs the £12,000-a-year private school, stated that at the time the decision was prompted by pushy parents who would complain that teachers’ remarks criticizing their children’s efforts or behavior were upsetting. 

As a result, most reachers self-censored in reports, instead filling them with “waffle” and other euphemisms to describe a child, such as “chatty” or “high-spirited,” when they mean disruptive, in order to avoid the wrath of parents. Dr. Murphy added:

“It is a cultural change, now parents are more likely to say to teachers: ‘You have upset my child, you have damaged their confidence, the problem isn’t my child, it’s you.’”

Reportedly, parents had recently lashed out over claims that a new teacher dubbed the “UK strictest teacher” had allegedly scolded children for not speaking loudly and clearly and for demanding they pay attention to him when he leads a class. 

In September, Mr. Barry Smith had been brought in as a consultant on improving The Abbey School in Faversham, Kent and had been “previously praised by Government ministers for his impact on school improvement.” 

While working in other schools, Smith had introduced strict uniform policies, including banning certain haircuts and rules on the lengths of girls’ skirts as well as confiscating mobile phones. 

Mr. Smith made a similar appearance at the De Lisle College in Leicestershire earlier in October, with parents complaining about the “new discipline regime,” including claims children were being “forced to smile constantly” at teachers and staff.

While teachers and parents have been in conflict in certain schools over maintaining order, one principal at a London school appeared to lose control entirely to its students, who demanded social justice action at their school. 

Sparked by Black Lives Matter activism, hundreds of students at Pimlico Academy in London had protested over what they called “discriminatory” uniform policies, including banning hairstyles that blocked the view of others, such as afros, and colorful Islamic headscarves.

They also protested over the flying of the British flag, which in September 2020 students had taken down from the pole and burned. 

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