F-M school board to consider hiring school resource officer

—Utilize a physical or virtual suggestion box for concerns and questions.

—Develop additional community and parental communications about school efforts for safety and reduced bullying.

—Instill the importance of “… see something, say something.”

—Develop activities to promote and educate students and staff about cultural diversity to create a more accepting environment for all.

To help form its recommendations, the task force heard from district officials, safety and security experts, reviewed district data on reported incidents, reviewed a survey of students and community members on F-M safety and security, and reviewed an external safety and security audit of the district. The task force met four times during November and early December.

The panel grew out of a board request in August for Kaiser to research the issue of hiring an SRO for the district. Kaiser suggested creating the task force and surveying the community to get a wide range of input on the issue. More than 1,000 people completed the online survey.

On Nov. 28, J.M. Cassalia and Associates conducted a preliminary security assessment focusing on the high school. The assessment’s final recommendation was that the district centralize safety and security under one entity, as multiple staff members are currently responsible for various safety and security aspects.

“This entity would allow for an overall district-wide focus on all matters concerning safety and security with the focus on mission, continuity of operations, emergency planning, drills, public safety liaison, training, policy and procedural guidance,” the report states.

About 40 percent of Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES school districts employ SROs, according to a recent survey conducted by the district. Of those, five districts have populations at or exceeding the number of students at F-M High School. Only two districts with a population substantially less than F-M employ an SRO.

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