BY: Citizens Count
In North Hampton this week, Police Chief Michael Maddocks met with the school board to solicit feedback on whether board members support a police presence in their school district.
Voters in North Hampton recently rejected a proposal to hire a school resource officer (SRO) for the school. The school still hosts a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) program and officers occasionally eat lunch with students.
SROs are sworn police officers assigned to work in schools. They are responsible for law enforcement but also may taken on mentoring, counseling or educational duties.
Currently in New Hampshire, it is up to individual school districts to decide if they wish to have police-sponsored programs or to have a full or part-time SRO on campus.
Supporters of a police presence in schools argue that it helps to build a rapport with students that can promote more positive interactions in the future. Others say a police presence makes the schools safer.
Opponents counter, however, that some students might feel uncomfortable with police officers in the school. They also express concern at the cost to taxpayers.
Should there be a police presence in NH schools? Leave a comment below to join the discussion, and we'll present your thoughts to legislators considering this bill. Only comments from NH residents will be counted, so please indicate if you are from NH in your response.