For years, former police officers carried guns while monitoring school grounds here at the Saratoga Springs City School District.
School officials say this violated state law, but now some parents say when it comes to school security, they want to return back to the old ways.
The Saratoga parents for safer schools issued this statement:
“For decades these officers have been armed, a nearly invisible safety blanket, without incident on our school properties. We are forming a concerned citizens group to petition the school district to overturn their bizarre decision to disarm these officers.”
“You have monitors at a lot of our public schools that are at the front door checking people when they come in. It’s a buzzer system they are In the lunchrooms they are in the gymnasiums,” Deputy Ken Cooper, Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department, said.
Grounds monitors shouldn’t be confused with school resource officers, otherwise known as SROs.
“All of our school resource officers are armed in the City of Saratoga Springs, they do have an armed a school resource officer and he is armed.”
While both grounds officers and school resource officers help to ensure the safety of students, school resource officers help teach the students right from wrong.
“But outside of the security part of it, by having an SRO we want them to be an educational piece to talk to the kids about bullying, about making good decisions on the internet, about making good decisions outside of school. You’re a mentor to a lot of those kids.”
There are schools in Saratoga County, that do not have school resource officers. They are still protected by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department. Deputy Cooper didn’t want to give his opinion as to whether or not he believes school grounds monitors should be armed.
“The decision is entirely up to the community and the school board. If that’s a decision they want to arm them then that’s something that the people up there need to decide on.”
A school board meeting will be held on the 23rd to further discuss this issue.