Warren County School Safety Forum Follow-Up
June 20, 2018
Dear Community and Education Leaders,
As you remember, earlier this year I had the opportunity to join approximately 50 students from Carlisle, Franklin, Springboro, Waynesville, Lebanon, Kings, Little Miami and the Warren County Career Center for a school safety forum hosted by the Warren County Educational Service Center and graciously moderated by Superintendent Tom Isaacs.
While the topic is an incredibly difficult one, I was deeply moved by the passion and the well thought-out ideas and comments that were made on that day. As a courtesy to all those involved, I want to inform you of a recent piece of legislation passed by the Ohio Senate that may be of interest to those who wish to be a part of the continuing conversation.
House Bill 318, which is now in the House of Representatives for a vote of concurrence, establishes 40 hours of specialized training for school resource officers and permits them to provide a range of services to the schools they serve. Additionally, the bill helps to identify and provide better assistance to students who are struggling with mental health issues.
The school resource officer training includes:
- School campus design, school building security needs and characteristics;
- The nuances of law enforcement functions conducted inside a school environment, including understanding the psychological and physiological characteristics consistent with the ages of the students in the assigned building or buildings, de-escalation techniques, and behavior management strategies;
- The mechanics of being a positive role model for youth, including appropriate communication techniques which enhance interactions between the school resource officer and students;
- Classroom management techniques to provide law-related education to students and methods for managing the behaviors sometimes associated with educating children with special needs.
Additionally, the bill now includes an increase in school safety grants from $10 million to $12 million.
It is truly amazing to see so many students passionate about such a pressing issue, and I believe they will be interested to know that steps are being taken to address their concerns. While this is only one of many possible courses of action we may take to keep our schools safer, the input from our students was a major consideration as we debated and worked on this particular piece of legislation.
I encourage you to share this with the students involved, and I thank you for your continued collaboration on this issue. If you have additional concerns or ideas regarding school safety, you can contact my office at any time by calling 614-466-9737 or by emailing me at Wilson@OhioSenate.gov.