116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
In the past two-year term ending this month, the Cedar Rapids Community School District spent nearly $2 million for the services of seven uniformed Cedar Rapids police officers — school resource officers (SROs). Although a student survey conducted by the district showed that 72 percent of students felt that SROs are needed, I believe the majority of those students would prefer that the district invest those funds to instead hire mental health professionals with training in de-escalation and conflict resolution techniques and restorative justice practices, trained professionals who would better serve the needs of all our students by helping to ensure a safe school environment without unnecessarily entangling students in the juvenile justice system. As a recently retired teacher in the CRCSD system, I know I would.