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CVUSD waves bye to SROs

CVUSD has ended its contract with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department to place school resource officers (SROs) on campuses like CVHS. SROs have been assigned to Castro Valley schools for at least 25 years. 

“We will still receive the same services that we were provided before the contract, but we are not a large university so we do not need a police department within our small school community,” said Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi.  

However, Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly has concerns about removing the officers because of the high number of threats CVHS has received and the possibility of school shootings. “We as a community should still be aware of gun violence in our schools. We might have forgotten about its dangers since COVID-19,” Kelly said.

The contract cost the district $180,000 each year for two resource officers throughout CVUSD. This change will likely decrease operational costs at all schools allowing for more money to be spent on restorative justice. CVHS has been using restorative justice in recent  years to decrease the number of suspensions and keep kids in the classroom. 

Officials hope that removing the officers will eliminate unease and tension from the campus. “A lot of students will feel more comfortable,” said Principal Blaine Torpey. 

The ending of the contract has been in the making for a few years but has been expedited due to COVID-19 and the nationwide backlash against police brutality since the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota on May 25.  

“There have been negative interactions that weren’t necessary,” said Torpey. 

Both the district and the sheriff’s office will continue a partnership to provide student safety in and out of the classroom. 

The Sheriff’s Department has reassigned the SROs to other duties. Kelly expects that “the relationship will spark up more” after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. 

3 thoughts on “CVUSD waves bye to SROs

  • Hannah Thai

    In all honesty, I believe that this change is necessary. Although I understand the importance of having officers nearby us, I do admit to feeling uneasy about police officers on our campus. It’s essential that we have sheriff nearby us as we are a pretty large school of over 3,000 people on campus. However, Castro Valley is a pretty safe place in comparison to other neighborhoods, where the crime rate is generally low. I’m not saying that our community is perfect as there is no true way to eradicate evil and crime from any neighborhood…but based on recent events, this is a good change overall in my eyes. I often felt nervous or scared seeing police officers walking around school or just when I’m in public and see police cars because we were taught to respect these people as protectors of our community. As a young child, I was taught that police officers were good people who supposedly protected others, stopped crime, and made sure everyone felt safe. Yet, I was still scared of them because they had guns and handcuffs…with such great authority/power of putting people in jail, typically possessing a very intimidating appearance to everyone. I was afraid of cops before I even found out about the amount of force they exerted on suspects and criminals. But due to recent events which led to the Black Lives Matter movement, one of the main reasons for this uproar of unity is because of police brutality. It truly is heart-breaking to see the amount of lives lost from police brutality which I did not know about until this year. This is a huge issue that puts BIPOC’s lives at risk, especially Black people. It must be scary for Black people to walk in the streets, knowing that the police could accuse them and have the power to exert such inhumane force on them for crimes they might not have even committed. This has evidently been shown through the death of George Floyd who died from having Derek Chauvin kneel on his neck, the death of Breonna Taylor from having cops enter her house while she was sleeping, or even the death of Elijah McClain who died from a chokehold and ketamine. I remember how sad I was after reading Elijah McClain’s story because he was such a pure angel…from the beauty of the last words he spoke or even the viral photo of him playing violin to cats at an animal shelter, which really hit me hard as a fellow violinist. It’s terrible that so many Black lives have been lost, just because a police officer decides to abuse their power and turn an arrest into a fatal death. Therefore, I really am grateful that the school was being considerate about the Black community after the surge of recent events and decided to stop SRO’s from being on our campus. It is hard to respect police after their reputation of hurting so many innocent people…which can also be seen in the way they shot rubber bullets and teargassed protestors. I don’t support the police and really wish we could reform the criminal justice system, along with a police reform so that they actually do their job correctly instead of harming or causing fear in citizens. However, I don’t think we should be completely abolishing the police because we still need some form of official law-enforced officials patrolling the community as a whole, but definitely needs some serious reformation in its practices and determining when or what type of force is necessary when absolutely needed. I am grateful we still have the nearby sheriff and fire department close to us so that they can help protect the school in case we ever do have an intruder or lock-down. In conclusion, I hope that students will feel more safe and protected on campus if there aren’t officers wandering around, despite how friendly they may be. It’s time to face the harsh truth of reality rather than living in the bliss of ignorance we were initially taught to believe about police officers.

  • Christopher Kelly

    I disagree with this action. While there should be call for police reform, it is safer for the well being of students to have school resource officers nearby. If there is a lockdown on campus, school resource officers are already there to protect students. The nearest substation is in San Leandro, which means a longer response time.

  • Christina Fielder

    I think that this change is for the better. Continuing to have officers on campus after all the murders would make things awkward.

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