School Resource Officer Toolkit
In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Department of Education (ED) introduced new guidelines earlier this year to help school districts develop policies and practices to enhance school climate and to comply with federal law.
One critical facet of these guidelines focuses on civil rights and discipline. In their Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the DOJ and ED acknowledged the impact of racial discrimination in school discipline, noting that, at times, even facially neutral policies can have an uneven and unlawful disparate impact. To promote a safe and inclusive school environment, the DOJ and ED outline steps for data collection that track discipline incidents and student demographic information of involved parties.
Further, the DCL recognizes the integral role the School Resource Officer (SRO) plays in keeping schools safe and outlines similar data collection to ensure that SROs are 1) adequately trained, 2) implore effective strategies to address school disciplinary matters versus reportable juvenile offenses; and 3) do not discriminate. The DCL makes clear that public schools have a commitment to educating all students and creating disciplinary policies that keep students in school.
To assist our clients, DDL has created an SRO Toolkit to help districts take the necessary steps to create new policies and practices or modify existing ones to secure safe and inclusive school environments for all students.
The toolkit is free. We hope that it provides a starting point for you to align your current policies and practices with these new guidelines. If you have questions or need further assistance in implementation in your school or district, please do not hesitate to contact us.