F-M Board of Education votes to hire school resource officer

The halls of Fayetteville-Manlius High School will soon be patrolled by a full-time police officer.

The F-M Board of Education voted 8-0 Monday night to approve hiring a school resource officer to enhance safety and security district-wide. Board member Susan Ryan was absent.

The officer will patrol the high school but will be available to work with students and staff at any of the district’s other five buildings.

A safety and security task force of 41 F-M teachers, administrators, students, parents and elected officials last month unanimously recommended to the board the district hire an SRO.

“Taskforce members believe the addition of an SRO would enable the district to focus on continuous improvement of the safety and security of the internal and external facilities and grounds and the important work of education and mentoring of youth,” the taskforce’s report states. “While not at epidemic stages, drugs, alcohol and face-to-face bullying and cyber bullying are a concern here, as in all schools.”

The taskforce was formed after the board asked Superintendent Corliss Kaiser to research the issue in August.

“The outside societal pressure that our kids feel, like any other school district, with regard to drugs, alcohol, bullying, cyber bullying, what we want to do is work with out SRO to help our kids understand the deleterious effects of all of these issues,” Kaiser said following the vote. “And hopefully work with their parents, as well.”

Board President Marissa Joy Mims said administrators who deal with disciplinary issues daily have been very supportive of bringing in an SRO. The idea has also received positive support from parents, she said.

“Parents and community members entrust the school district with its children, and it is the district’s responsibility to ensure that students are safe and secure when in our care,” she said. “We have adopted core values that include cultivating a school climate of civility and strong character. An SRO would help promote those values throughout our district.”

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