Charlottesville, VA–Charlottesville City Schools (CCS), Charlottesville Police Department, and the City Manager released a joint statement Thursday announcing the end of School Resource Officers (SROs) in Charlottesville schools.
The Charlottesville chapter of Black Lives Matter called on city officials to discontinue the use of SROs in city schools.
Mayor Nikuyah Walker stated, “Our public school system is an institution that mimics the prison-industrial complex rather than a safe space where students are able to unlock the jewels within their minds. SRO’s are simply one element that highlights this fact. We must commit to the creation of a paradigm that replaces this current institution that has continuously failed Black children since desegregation.”
Approximately $300,000 of the city’s annual budget goes toward the salaries of SROs. The city is in search of a new memorandum that better serves schools.
“This is an opportunity to listen broadly, to look at other approaches, and to craft a model that will serve our schools well. We will seek feedback from our citizens and explore national models,” City Manager Dr. Tarron Richardson said.
CCS will be holding an Electronic School Board Meeting Thursday at 5 pm where they will be discussing their decision and asking for feedback as to what the new school safety model should look like.