Thursday, November 14, 2019

The SRO "Industry"

Do parents really know what the cost is of having a law-enforcement officer in so many Richland 2 schools?

You can familiarize yourself with the issues and cost by viewing the video-recording of the October 29, 2019 School Board meeting. Find this on the Richland 2 website and on

Fast-forward to 29:30 where Harry Miley, CFO, explains about new money coming from the State of South Carolina for four new SROs, who will go on duty at elementary schools in January 2020. The deputies are planned for Killian, Langford, Catawba Trail and Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary Schools.

State funding has been approved and, after Richland County Council approves, State money will be paid to the Richland County Sheriff's Department for salaries and benefits for these four new deputies. Richland 2 School District will bear the expense of operating and equipment funds.

Deputies are provided by the Richland County Sheriff's Department under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Richland 2 School District.

What's the cost of one deputy under the MOU? $130,000 in capital costs, plus about $55,000 in operating costs. Per deputy!

Trustee-elect McKie made an assumptive statement about "all" board members. She should have spoken on her own behalf and let other board members speak for themselves. If a board member that night did not agree with her, most likely such board member would have held his or her tongue to avoid a dispute or conflict.

Trustee- elect Holmes launched a "in light of the times that we are living in, with the shootings that are going on..." statement. Richland 2 could post a deputy at every hallway corner in every school, if it wanted to pay for it. The voters won't pay for that. But here's a fact: the risk of a student's being killed by gunshot at school in the U.S. is 1 in 614,000,000. So, if the risk is infinitesimal, how much are you willing to spend to attempt to prevent it?

Having an SRO in a school will NOT prevent a school shooting. Does any school board member realize that? Having two armed Emergency Services employees wouldn't prevent it. Arming every teacher wouldn't prevent it. Arming every staff member won't prevent it. Arming every student would not prevent it.

Why was a shooting at Ridge View High School threatened earlier this week? The School Board should dig into the real cause and work on preventing that. Get at the cause!!!

The cause is a generation (or more than one) without the skills of conflict resolution, without respect for authority, into instant gratification, without conversational skills, without tolerance, without understanding.