TIOGA — The Tioga Central School Board may look at the addition of a school resource officer (SRO) to join the district’s halls in the future.
The idea was brought up during this week’s meeting of the school board with mixed reactions from board members and some administrators.
High school principal Josh Roe initially rejected the thought of an SRO at the district.
“I don’t know. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I don’t like the idea of someone roaming our school’s halls with a gun,” he said.
However, board members said an SRO was at least something that should be considered and discussed.
“I just think it’s worth a discussion,” board member Scot Taylor said. “There are pieces of it that make it worth having a conversation. Typically, we kind of have poor response times from our local agencies, and I think if we got the right person, it’s worth a conversation.”
Board member Dr. Abram Nichols noted that he has a contact of a company that specializes in school security and could reach out to inquire about a presentation before the school board.
All three Valley school districts currently have at least one SRO, as does Spencer-Van Etten. However, there are other districts in Tioga County, such as Newark Valley, that does not have an SRO.
“It’s unlikely that something would happen, but if something did, we’d hear ‘why did we not have an SRO?’” said board member Aaron Lounsberry.
“And we’ll have to have conversations about why we don’t have one, if we decide to go that away,” added board member Pam Zwierlein. “I’m not sure where it’ll go, but I would like to hear the information and explore it. We’re just doing our due diligence.”
Generally, the board agreed that no matter which way it ultimately decided to go, a presentation should be hosted on the proposal just to at least gain more knowledge.
Board president Cathi Root noted that an SRO could also be a good opportunity for students to build positive relationships with a member of law enforcement.
“Some of our kids who are with families who have issues with law enforcement — they only see one side of law enforcement,” she said. “This would give them to exposure to another of law enforcement that shows that they’re not all bad guys.”
A presentation on the proposal will be held at a future board meeting.