The Union Recorder

Local News

February 21, 2013

School Resource Officers work to protect, educate

(Continued)

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Holland said the only difference between the schools are students’ ages, and Oak Hill also deals with drugs, gangs, fights, bullying and cyber bullying.

“What has helped at our school was the idea that we educate our kids on those issues at the middle school level, and I touch on those things in the public safety class. Now, students recognize a situation and they come to me with information. We have a bully committee that handles bullying issues, and depending on what students are stating about the incident, we verify that it is bullying, we come up with a solution, and contact the parents and discuss it with them,” Holland said. “Females fight the most here and at the high school than their male counterparts. This school year, I’ve had over 10 female fights and not one male fight, and nine times out of 10 the females are involved with Facebook and that’s where it comes from. Most of the charges here are disruption of public school. I don’t suspend anybody; I lock people up when they break Georgia laws.”

As members of the National Association of School Resource Officers, Holland and Simmons had to complete training in order to become certified SROs and must continue attending training sessions to keep up-to-date with state laws and learn the do’s and don’ts of how to respond to various situations.

“We have to be certified to work in a school environment. We’re also trained for instruction purposes and understanding gangs. Most of the time, SROs have to travel to get proper training, but due to funding, we’re limited on what we can do,” Simmons said. “We’re always conducting training for teachers and staff so everybody knows what we have to do. We have some type of drill monthly for fire, tornado, bomb threat or lockdown.”

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