With the current outcry to “defund the police,” I would like to offer a reason to “fund the police”: the school resource officer program in the Guilford County public schools.
I teach at Kernodle Middle School and we have been fortunate to have had Officer Andrea King-Hyatt as our SRO. It is no exaggeration to say that Officer King-Hyatt established positive relationships with virtually every student in our school.
She greeted the students every morning and saw them off to the buses every afternoon and had lunch with a crowded table of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders every day (the sign-up sheet for “Lunch with the SRO” was always full).
She also established relationships with many of the hard-to-reach students who had reputations as disciplinary problems and helped them have more positive attitudes toward school.
In addition, she did a lot of behind-the-scenes work helping families who had social and legal problems that went beyond the school day.
Officer King-Hyatt was the embodiment of the police motto “to protect and serve,” and I sincerely hope the city and county can come together to fund this important program in our public schools.