School resource officers to stay in New Bedford

Education

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — As some rally to get rid of police officers in schools, that won’t be the case in New Bedford.

Superintendent Thomas Anderson announced at a school committee meeting Monday night that school resource officers will continue to have a presence in the city’s public schools.

Officials spent more than a year examining the school resource officer program, allowing them to carefully consider all thoughts and perspectives, according to Anderson.

Anderson said his decision to keep school resource officers in New Bedford came after a careful review of the district’s disciplinary practices conducted by a Boston-based non-profit.

The school system held a series of community conversations on the topic, as well as working groups and online surveys, allowing students, staff, and the public to offer their input.

Anderson described the issue as “sensitive” for him as a superintendent and on a personal level.

“The focus on bringing people together that offered varying perspectives was critical in this review,” he said. “Continuous dialogue must always be part of how we work to improve our schools and how we grow as a community in New Bedford and across our country.”

Anderson added he hopes New Bedford’s program will become a model that can be followed by others.

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