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Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Releases New Data Showing Strong Support For Campus Resource Officers

By on April 13, 2023 0 170Views

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne released polling data on Wednesday that show strong public support for armed law enforcement school resource officers on school campuses. This includes parents in the Phoenix Union High School District (PXU), where the Governing Board will hear a recommendation on restoring school resource officers tomorrow evening.

The same overwhelming support is indicated in a PXU classroom teachers’ poll and a national poll. Horne is urging the Phoenix Union school board to adopt a finding of the district safety committee, which urged the hiring of school resource officers. Days ago, a PXU student at Betty Fairfax high school was arrested after being found carrying a gun onto the campus.

Horne stated, “There is overwhelming support among parents living in the Phoenix Union District, statewide, as well as classroom teachers, to keep children and staff safe by having school resource officers at the schools. They not only provide safety, but teach classes, and become friendly with students, so that students learn to trust them, rather than viewing police as enemies. The worst tragedy one can imagine would be if a maniac invaded a school and killed 20 children, as has happened in other states, and that school passed up the opportunity to have a resource officer present to protect the students and staff.”

The statewide poll, conducted by Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights shows 78 percent of respondents consider school safety very important and 81 percent support having a law enforcement officer on campus.

A similar study done in the Phoenix Union High School District for the 2021-22 school year by the PXU Classroom Teachers Association showed 80 percent of respondents believe resource officers have a role on PXU campuses. 82 percent said they witnessed positive interactions between officers and students. The district removed those officers in 2020.

Although the deadline for Arizona Department of Education school safety grant applications is April 15, the Department of Education will grant exceptions for late applications through April 22. This applies to any school safety applications, whether for school resource officers, counselors, or social workers.

A letter has also gone out to mayors statewide, asking them to support our efforts for school resource officers and have their police departments share data.