The Education Work group created by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell as a part of the Task Force of School and Campus Safety held their initial meeting on January 17, 2013 in Richmond. Among the members of the committee, each of whom were sworn in for this committee is current VASSP President, Dr. Keith Perrigan, Principal at Patrick Henry High School in Washington County and Dr. Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent for Public Instruction for Virgina. Dr. Wright serves as an active member of the VASSP Board of Directors.
Among the issues for K-12 education reviewed at this initial meeting were:
- Distinction between School Resource Officers (SROs) and School Safety Officers (SSOs)
- The varying scope of duties in schools and funding of SRO’s
- The use of blended positions for these officers and the the use of a model template devised by the Virginia School Counselors association
The work group also reviewed questions for K-12 education. A sample of the questions are listed below.
1. Should a benchmark ratio number of students to SRO/SSO be established for schools?
2. Are there ideal requirements for SROs to be identified and standardized (e.g. understand school environment, have training in dealing with students with emotional problems or special needs students that have issues)?
3. Can/should training of SROs/SSOs be standardized as it is for campus security officers?
4. Can steps be taken to ensure that SROs assigned to a school really want the job?
These issues and others relating specifically to Higher Education were all part of this initial meeting. When more information is forth coming, it will be posted on the VASSP blog site.