MONTEREY >> Trustees with the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District approved a one-year extension to existing contracts with local law enforcement agencies to keep school resource officers in its schools.
The vote during the regular Tuesday meeting was 5-2 for each of the contracts with Monterey, Seaside, and Marina police departments, starting on Aug. 1 and ending June 1, 2018. The programs cost $72,083 in Marina, $83,321 in Seaside, and $86,223 in Monterey.
Originally, districts administrators were planning to renew the contract for two years, but they scaled back based on widespread reluctance from the community.
“The plan is to bring back to the board more data about the program and at that point the board can decide two questions,” Superintendent PK Diffenbaugh said. “One: should the district continue to fund part of the SROs and two, should SROs be on campus at all. I think these are two related but separate questions that will come before the board later in the school year.”
Trustees Wendy Root Askew and Debra Gramespacher voted no on the contracts. In previous meetings, Gramespacher had voiced her opposition to having education funds pay for police services and Root Askew had said she did not want to have armed officers in the schools, something police departments are not willing to negotiate.
Having uniformed officers in the schools has sparked controversy the past few years after videos of police officers physically disciplining students have gone viral. In addition, activists say police presence on school campuses contribute to the “school-to-prison” pipeline. Studies have shown that students…
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