The Fairfax GOP is sounding the alarm that removing school resource officers (SRO’s) would “endanger” students and teachers in the county. “As specially-trained law enforcement professionals, SRO’s serve a critical role in many schools,” said Fairfax GOP Chairman Steve Knotts. “Removing these officers from our schools would endanger both kids and educators.”
While security is their first mission, SRO’s can educate students on a variety of law-related subjects, to include driver safety; alcohol and drug abuse; and gang violence. “For many at-risk youth, SRO’s function as much-needed mentors and positive role models,” Knotts added. “Like the broader ‘defund the police’ movement, removing officers from schools would overwhelmingly harm the most disadvantaged among us.”
Last week, county school board member Abrar Omeish hailed Alexandria’s recent decision to boot law enforcement officers from the city’s district-run schools. “Fairfax leaders, I hope we will also commit to divest to reinvest in mental health & student supports,” Omeish tweeted.
“Omeish offers a false choice: student mental health versus school resource officers,” Knotts countered. “There is no lack of waste in our multi-billion-dollar school budget. Why target law enforcement?”
In today’s statement, Knotts offered a potential explanation for Omeish’s radical stance: a “visceral hostility” towards police officers. “Just last week, video surfaced of Omeish resisting arrest, after she ran a red light and then failed to hand over a driver’s license and vehicle registration,” Knotts said. “Evidently, Omeish has personal issues with even the most routine aspects of law enforcement. I have to wonder if this seemingly visceral hostility colors her view of school resource officers.”
VIDEO OF SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER’S ARREST: