BOULDER, Colo. — The Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) School Board voted 6-1 on Tuesday to adopt a resolution to address disparities in school discipline and end the district's School Resource Officer (SRO) program.
The board voted 6-1 to begin developing a comprehensive plan to address school safety plans, that is to be completed no later than May 1, 2021 and end the district's current SRO program by January of 2022, according to the resolution.
“By giving us time, you allow us to sit down with our law enforcement agencies and think through what is the best way to go about doing this," said BVSD Superintendent Rob Anderson. "What are the agreements that we’d want to make. How do we ensure that if we don’t have our own School Resource Officers in buildings, when police officers respond to our schools, they know what to expect from us. They know their role, we know our role. We know what they are going to do and not going to do, to the extent that we are able to work those things out.”
The district will take the following actions, as outlined in the resolution:
Develop a timeline and budget to accelerate the work of Strategic Initiative 6a, specifically regarding the development and implementation of equitable disciplinary practices by developing a comprehensive plan to reduce disparities in school discipline, including ending the current SRO program
Use a process to develop the comprehensive plan that incorporates diverse voice of administrators, teachers, students, parents, and community partners, specifically including people who are BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and have disabilities
Assure the comprehensive plan incorporates the development of new school safety plans, revised intergovernmental agreements with BVSD’s multiple law enforcement agencies, and opportunities for the community to learn about and provide input into school safety plans
Provide quarterly updates on the process to develop the comprehensive plan, and no later than May 1, 2021 in accordance with the Board’s normal budget cycle, to present the comprehensive plan, including a target date for ending the current SRO program of January 2022.
“When I compare what we are up against, versus other school districts that have taken on this path, is that many of them are only developing one inter-governmental agreement. We are going to need six. It is going to take time to work with our different agencies and restructure those relationships” Anderson said.
“Our staff and teachers are a very conscientious and committed group of people and don’t have any intention of disciplining people in a disproportionate way," said Board of Education President, Tina Marquis. "There is no notion from the board or anyone that that is intentional. That is not pointing fingers or blaming or being punitive. It is just an opportunity for us to make a better environment for all of our students.”
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