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Now browsing: Hometown News > Opinion > St. Lucie County

Letter to the editor
Rating: 1.15 / 5 (13 votes)  
Posted: 2013 May 17 - 07:22

School Resource officers make bad arrest

Our public school system has sworn Law Enforcement officers known as SRO's that were originally assigned to public schools for three major roles: (1) Law enforcement (2) Law-related counselor (3) Law-related educator.

In addition, the officer works in collaboration with the school, community on safety and security issues. Today school resource officers are politicians by principals to get rid of troublesome students.

I am the director of a juvenile diversion program called Juvenile Entering Wellness Education and Leadership. I believe that 60 percent of school arrests are for conduct or behavior issues rather than criminal offenses.

Our court docket is loaded with "bogus" arrests. I have seen students that have gone through the JEWEL program that were arrested for talking on a cell phone. Another student was arrested for smashing a "smoothie" on the school grounds. This is pure childish behavior that has led to students being arrested.

The two criminal charges that are used on students are Florida Statutes (877.03) disorderly conduct and disrupting a school function (877.13).

I want to warn students not to lose their temper in school or they may be subject to an arrest. Students that suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are a target.

Minority students are arrested at a three time higher rate. Today's kids will have a criminal record before they can mature as adults. Most of the students will go to college and get a degree and fail a criminal background check. What a shame!

I have been compiling data to forward to the United States Dept. Of Justice for a federal investigation. Most of the arrest affidavits lack probable cause for arrest.

Richard Farnell Sr., Fort Pierce




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