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I said it before, I’ll say it again: school resource officers (SROs) are a bad idea. Deploying an SRO in a school is both expensive and unnecessary (armed teachers, administrators and staff are a far better defense against terrorists, criminals and crazies). SROs can also be a recipe for trouble. Yes, the evidence I submitted in my last post – a list of cases of physical and sexual abuse perpetuated by SROs in high schools – was anecdotal. But why take the risk? Anyway, I forgot to mention negligent discharges. Click here for an SRO ND from August 2013. Or here for one from 2011. And here’s this week’s example [via Pennsylvania’s wnep.com] . . .

SOUTH CANAAN TOWNSHIP — A school police officer is off the job after his gun went off inside a high school in Wayne County . . .

“At approximately 11 a.m. our school police officer, while in his office, inadvertently discharged his firearm,” said the recording of Western Wayne Superintendent Clay LaCoe.

Some eight hours earlier, the school district was just starting to deal with the incident at the high school near Waymart.

The superintendent would not say how the gun went off or what school police officer Paul Semler was doing at the time since the Wayne County District Attorney is now investigating.

wnep.com repeats the phrase “went off” no less than five time. That’s a new record for our Passively Constructed archives! Anyway, lesson learned?

A detective with the Wayne County District Attorney’s Office was at the Western Wayne High School one day after that gun went off. That school police officer is off the job without pay until that investigation is complete.

“Well I`m sure the party wasn`t using all their smarts,” said Jeff who didn’t want his last name used.

Now investigators are looking into whether Semler, a retired state trooper who’s been with the district for several years, should be charged with reckless endangerment all because a school staff member was in the office at the time the gun went off.

“I think he`s going to be a lot more careful next time, I don`t think it`ll happen again,” added Jeff.

Now the school district will wait for the investigation to wrap up before making any decisions.

“This could have been tragic and we`re just thankful nobody was hurt,” said LaCoe.

Western Wayne has two other school police officers who will handle the job while Semler is off the job, according to LaCoe.

A few thing to get off my chest here . . .

1. Can you imagine the you-know-what storm that would ensue if a pistol-packing parent touched off a negligent discharge inside a school? Because it was a cop, though, the idiot gets a free ride – to the point where the media uses passive construction to avoid any idea of personal responsibility.

2. Antis constantly yammer on about how it’s OK for cops to carry where non-cop civilians can’t because they’re trained professionals. How professional was that? (Not to mention that Concealed Carry Permit Holders are One Third as Likely to Commit Murder as Police Officers.)

3. I am not anti-cop. Police play a critical role in maintaining social order and protecting the innocent. I am anti-bad cop. And I’m anti cops being in places they shouldn’t be, such as drunk driving “check points” and our schools.

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34 Responses to Passively Constructed Negligent Discharge Story of the Day: SRO Edition

  1. I completely agree that armed teachers and other school staff are preferable to police officers stationed in schools. However, in the current American public school environment, the vast majority of teachers I ever dealt with as a student were mentally and emotionally unprepared to arm themselves. They were even less willing than police to acquire and maintain an acceptable level of proficiency with firearms. And that’s not even touching the issue of official school policy, which in most of the country is for political reasons, about as unfriendly to firearms as you can get. This type of policy also eliminates the idea of armed volunteer parents.

    Until both of these issues change (which is unlikely to say the least), the SRO is the best practical alternative I am aware of to an official policy of putting the schools’ fingers in their collective ears and saying “la la la la la nothing bad will ever happen here, la la la la la this is a gun free zone.”

    There may be a few places in the country which don’t follow this pattern. Not many, and not enough.

  2. While I don’t agree with your position on SROs, why would you trust staff or educators any more than SROs? Are there at least as many, if not more, incidents where school staff have acted negligently or maliciously in the care of those children?

    • We already do trust teachers and administrators to teach and.care.for the children. Why shouldn’t we trust them to carry guns.

      • Exactly because we’ve already seen their competence in handling the duties already assigned to them? Between the pisspoor education kids receive in most of the public schools, and the seemingly rampant sexual abuse of kids by teachers, we probably shouldn’t grant additional responsibilities uncritically.

        Of course, that’s painting with a broad brush, as concealed carrying teachers/staff would be a very small and self-selected subgroup of school officials as a whole. Still, that’s all the more reason to look at who specifically on campus would be carrying, rather than entrusting teachers in general with this responsibility, simply because we already entrust them with other responsibilities.

    • Teachers are in their school because they are, at least in theory, competent at their job. Such in not true of cops who are sidelined as “SROs”. If competent would be out doing cop stuff.

  3. The real problem with SROs is that it makes kids being kids into criminals. Get into a fight? Get arrested. Kid with some some booze or pot? They get arrested.

    Like it or not, those things are part of growing up – schools are supposed to be the safe zone, where the worst that happens is that you get in “trouble” and maybe even a few days suspension – juvie arrests are supposed to be out of the question unless you try to actually stab someone or something.

    I know, those days of normalcy will never return, but this age of kids with ID badges has mainstreamed the paranoia to a frightening degree.

    • That’s not true everywhere. The town in which I grew up has SROs and they don’t arrest for fights or booze (and can’t arrest for weed possession though I believe there is a citation possible).

      They’re around if things go real bad…

      • Glad to hear some are just there in case things go wrong. I’ve just heard too many stories about the other way, and it troubles me.

  4. There have been thousands of cases where teachers sexually abused students. And none of their discharges were accidental.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/21/AR2007102100144.html

    Teachers should be able to arm up if they so choose. As should custodians, administrators, the lunchroom staff and parents who are just visiting. But since I’d trust almost anyone before I’d trust a teacher with the welfare of my progeny, I’d like armed SROs too.

    • Unfortunately where I work the school system has its head in the sand. They have their lockdown drills but have no communication with the police department. They refuse to work with us on active shooter response, going so far to make the SROs stay in their office during lockdown drills. They say they don’t want to create an environment of “unnessecary fear and panic.” They don’t even want us in the schools on weekends where no events are scheduled to train

    • There have been thousands of cases where teachers sexually abused students. And none of their discharges were accidental. Yeah the gym teacher had a few discharges with one of the cheerleaders at my old high school.

  5. robert…..

    what is convincing you that a dozen or more armed staff/teachers will not have the average number of NDs? if a school has one, or two, or even 5 SROs, the potential NDs are one, two, or five. a dozen armed staff/teachers represents a dozen potential NDs.

    i don’t get it.

  6. I think this may be one of the most ignorant things I’ve ever read. As a teacher at an alternative school, not only is it beneficial to have an SRO, it makes a lot of sense. When a student is acting in a threatening manner towards the teacher, it’s convenient, safe, and conducive to the learning environment for the SRO to get the student out of the classroom so that teacher can continue with their lesson. I’m a minority in the school system with my conservative political views and my pro-gun stance. What you have written is the most subjective thing I’ve ever read. To really understand the pros and cons of having an SRO in the schools, you need to go work in a school in a capacity where you can objectively view their day to day obligations. I’m not speaking for every SRO because this guy sounds like he was playing with his gun or doing something he shouldn’t have been doing, but I have the utmost respect for all of the SROs I’ve ever worked with.

    I do wish I could carry in the school but there are still laws set in place that state I can’t so until they lift those laws, I feel safe and confident having someone in the school who is allowed to and who does carry his/her gun.

    • ‘Alternative’ to what, incarcerated? If you are afraid of your ‘students’ then you are perhaps in the wrong line of work. Needing a copper to manage your classroom should not be on the regular menu unless you are teaching in the ghetto or a prison.

      That you are enthusiastically comfortable with this fascist scenario is the disturbing part.

        • Egads, when did that happen? Back in the 80s, an ‘alternative school’ was for those who were didn’t function well in ‘the system’ because they were too smart, a bit too familiar with the pleasures of recreational chemicals, those who were just too focused on art, or who would argue with the teacher and prove the textbook wrong.

          I guess that’s what happens when the ‘progs’ rename “reform school”.

  7. @RF, and I’ll say it again…SROs are no worse than armed teachers or staffers or civilians. And mostly, quite the contrary.

  8. Gotta agree with most everyone I here. This article is trash. Teachers rape more students than cops ever do. You know who rapes the most students? Other students. Teachers will also have plenty of NDs and it will get allot more attention. That said I wish it would become normal for teachers to tool up but attacking the idea of SRO’s is just doesn’t make any sense. It would make more sense to point out the fact that police are just as faliable as anyone, so let’s save the money and resources and let teachers carry. However, in the real world, unfortunately I don’t see many teachers carrying. It’s a job packed full of too many leftists.

  9. “Can you imagine the you-know-what storm that would ensue if a pistol-packing parent touched off a negligent discharge inside a school? Because it was a cop, though, the idiot gets a free ride”

    Isn’t that an argument to HAVE the SROs? Or would you rather see the shitstorm of a pistol-packing parent NG? I don’t think that would help us. Or does this really have nothing to do with the merit arguments of SROs in school and is instead just more windmill tilting against cops being seen as more responsible with guns by the public?

  10. I’m pretty sure it has to do with SROs most likely being chosen from the chaff of LEO/ex-LEO wannabes and the attitude they bring with them in addition to the horribly flawed tactical decision in choosing an armed lookout that would-be attackers could eliminate with stealth and surprise and with minimal reconnaissance. Allowing any employee to conceal carry if they wish instead and making that fact widely known would reduce the superiority complex and powertrip problems that seem to accompany disgruntled LEO-types and at the same time give back the advantage of stealth and surprise to the school’s defenders as well as making the decision to go through with said attack much more difficult because there is much less information available to control the battlespace and gain morale, both of which are force multipliers that are now denied the attacker(s) yet retained by the defender(s). The school is in this case what Sun Tzu calls “dispersive ground”, aiding the defenders and hindering attackers through Master Sun’s most important and profound maxim: “all war is based on deception”. Or something like that, I guess.

  11. I notice that the police spokesperson said unequivocally that the doofus in question discharged his firearm.

    There’s a modicum of accuracy in there somewhere, right next to the pony.

  12. RF, I think you are trying too hard to push an agenda for armed teachers. And FWIW, I agree with that. But:
    1. That is not a reality in most school districts. In the meantime, there is nothing wrong with giving kids some protection.
    2. I think all the bad SRO incidents you have cited are indications that those individual SRO programs were not run adequately. There are also bad teacher incidents and bad cop incidents. Do we do away with teachers and cops?
    3. I think the very first thing schools need to do is look at physical security: No one should be able to get into a school during class hours without being buzzed in. Teachers should have a way that only they and other staff can temporarily lock heavy-duty classroom doors against an attacker.
    4. Whether my kid’s teacher is armed or not, I don’t want them leaving my kid’s class and running out in the hallway. I want them to stay with their class. The captain stays with the ship. Armed teachers leaving the class abandons those kids with no supervision in the middle of a crisis.A lot of kids will bolt and provide an active shooter with an “arcade” of targets.

  13. The SRO here was discharged for taking pictures with his cell phone of young girls . then, he beat his 14 yr old step son so bad he was hospitalized. Another Co. deputy was “let go” for inappropriate relations with an underage girl. Our now sheriff, who was for along time the SRO, filed charges of first degree aggravated assault of a teacher charges against my step son, for wadding up a piece of paper and throwing it, just because it hit the teacher.

    I think SRO’s are a joke and a waste of tax payers money, not to mention the fact they can’t get a real job because they are normally incompetent.

    • Anon you obviously don’t have any factual information because this SRO doesn’t have a step son therefore it would be quite impossible to beat and hospitalize the non-existent!
      This man happens to be a dear friend of mine and doesn’t need any of these bogus non-factual accusations!

  14. Well at least the school’s message was accurate: “our school police officer … discharged his firearm.”

  15. The superintendent would not say how the gun went off or what school police officer Paul Semler was doing at the time Well, maybe his gun went off when he was ogling some hot cheerleaders?

  16. I’m not against SROs. However, I am for arming school staff who are willing and responsible. I think teacher carry > SRO, but really, I don’t trust all teachers, either.

  17. Are you saying that teachers and administrators don’t molest the children as well? Hardly an aguement against SROs. Cost yes, but SROs aren’t more abusive of children than teachers and administrators.

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