Community Members Outraged After School District Votes To Keep Cops In Schools

The Woodland Hills School Board voted to retain the district's school resource officers on Thursday.

North Braddock, PA Many community members were outraged to learn that the Woodland Hills School Board unanimously voted to keep resource officers at two schools in the district on Thursday.

We dont want police in our schools, because our children are afraid, East Pittsburgh resident Erica Yesko told board members before they voted, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Our children are not in a thriving environment, because theyre so afraid of getting suspended or getting hurt by a police officer, and no one is saying anything about it, Yesko added.

Yesko previously made the news just days ago after she and other activists demanded the East Pittsburgh city council completely dissolve the police department.

We dont want any more children being killed by police officers, she said, at the time.

Last year, five former students filed a lawsuit against the district, and alleged that school officials had fostered a culture of abuse towards students.

In May, the district commissioned a panel to examine the culture and discipline practices at Woodland Hills schools.

The panel provided a list of recommendations to help prevent the awful problems that had occurred in the past from happening again, and even proposed the idea of eliminating SROs altogether.

School board vice president Mike Belmonte said he understood the residents concerns, but that they were outweighed by the external threats to everybody inside the school.

As part of the contract agreement, the school resource officers (SROs) will be prohibited from wearing uniforms or carrying Tasers.

They will be allowed to keep their duty weapons, and must wear khaki pants and polo shirts.

We dont care if police brutality is in khakis and polo shirts, resident Darnika Reed told the board, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Reed, the parent of a high school student, also works with the Alliance for Police Accountability and the Pittsburgh Coalition to End the Deadly Exchange. She organized groups to protest the SRO issue on Aug. 15 and on Thursday.

Board member Chardae Seligsohn urged the community to trust in the new leadership of district superintendent James Harris, who was hired just last week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

We are setting a new tone with this new leadership, Seligsohn said. This is not the same Woodland Hills it was a few weeks ago. I believe in us, and if I didnt, I wouldnt be here.

Harris, a former military policeman, said that the community members concerns were 100 percent legitimate, but that the district was working to reboot.

The community has every right to be upset about what happened in the past, he said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. But [school administrators] and I are in total alignment on what we see moving forward: One, the high school discipline will be handled by the administrative staff at the high school, and not handed over to the police.

Comments (16)
Richhead
Richhead

The only reason any children would be afraid of the police is if their parents taught them to be. This lady is clearly a black wannabe and agrees with the "I do what I want" attitude of the average black-American. Of course she has practical reasons for not wanting police in her kids' school. Her baby daddy's drug trafficking business is adversely affected by those pesky cops. Trash...

negolien
negolien

Only brutality is minorities killing everyone get the fk out of here with this shit.

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

Hmmm ... interesting ... I hadn't heard that these SROs at this school were in the habit of using bullwhips on the children. That's what these parents sound like they're saying. Well, discipline should start at home, Mom and Dad, and if the child is not being taught how to respect authority from an early age, then of course the school is going to have trouble with your precious darling.

RunCop
RunCop

Scum!

ReserveDepty3431
ReserveDepty3431

Teaching your kids to fear the people they can trust is the issue. Morons.

Grog
Grog

Talk about some f**ked up people! The police Chief should say, "Fine, just be sure not to call us when the sh*t hits the fan!"

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

So....they are more afraid of the cops and their babies "feelings" than they are about the possibility of a school shooter ???

WTF is wrong with Pa lately ??

wmc50
wmc50

@John.Brown. Wow. I don't think I'll be taking my lead from Ms. Yesko on anything. Social Justice Warrior Freak.

RIDGERUNNER
RIDGERUNNER

The children are afraid?? Yeah right. The children have more reason to be afraid when there is no cop on the scene.

dsmarine
dsmarine

This and many other instances are orchestrated to attack police and yes, The Second Amendment. I never was afraid of police officers as a boy growing up and the sons I raised are not either. This is contrived and as much a conspiracy as what is going on in D.C.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Police resource officers are in shools to protect children, not hurt them. If children are afraid of police officers, that is the parents' fault. That is a learned behavior. Shame on those parents.👎

LetGodSortItOut
LetGodSortItOut

I don't understand why Black Lie$ Matter or the Nation of Islam or Black Panther$ won't volunteer to guard the school. Hmmm.... [scratching my head] Weird

Missy64
Missy64

As a former high school principal I support SROs, but not all law enforcement officers are "cur out" for these positions....just as all educators are not a good match for being a principal. I had 2 SROs that were great. They added to a positive learning environment. I never had a student or parent complaint; however, I did ask the Chief of Police to remove 1 SRO because he threatened students, handled them rough and took pride in having the students scared of him. He was removed immediately. SROs are a great resource in helping students how to appropriately respond when they come in contact with law enforcement outside of the school environment. Sounds like you have a chance for a fresh start....give it chance to work.....wipe the slate clean and work to make the system successful. Trust me. A superintendent sets the tone for everything in the District......give him a chance (they are not all a like) and hold him accountable. If you have a question and/or a concern go to him! Talk among others and accusations only create mistrust, adversarial and hostile relationships that severly impact student learning in a negative way. Good Luck!

Ligoon01
Ligoon01

The children are afraid because the parents put the seed in their heads. These people who are outraged are probably the parents who are raising kids to believe they are not to be corrected or held accountable no matter what they do. Good for the school district making a decision with the safety of the children and staff at the forefront instead of caving to the ridiculous demands of these people.

Quantumx
Quantumx

I feel like this is an Onion article... I can't believe the lunacy of 2018.