Presence of Student Resource Officer creates mixed opinions among student body  

Staff Editorial

There is a new addition to UAHS walking through the halls who is not fully welcomed by all students– and that is our new school resource officer (SRO), Jon Rice. UAHS is among one of the last school districts in Ohio to implement a SRO in the building, with our neighboring school districts, such as Columbus, Dublin and Hilliard already having one, according to a Feb. 8 article by Nate Ellis from This Week News.

Because many school districts have a SRO, it was bound to be implemented at UAHS at some point. However, there are many mixed views on Rice’s arrival to the school. According to This Week News, Rice’s role will primarily revolve around school safety and security.

“He will provide security services and periodic safety instruction throughout the district’s eight school buildings, in addition to being another communications liaison between students, educators and parents,” Ellis said.

We are incredibly privileged to live in Upper Arlington because it is a relatively safe community. Students do not dread going to school in the morning, with the fear that a fight might break out or an intruder will break into the school and cause harm.

With this in mind, it can be understandable that students feel a SRO is not needed in our comfortable school. However, there is always uncertainty, which is why the implementation of these officers in school districts is necessary.

The recent situations at both of UA’s middle schools, including substance abuse at Hastings and a bomb threat at Jones, have also proved that our safe and secure “UA bubble” might not always be strong enough, and could even pop.

Recently, at Hastings Middle School several students were caught using e-cigarettes. And on the morning of Feb. 21, the Jones Middle School administration received a bomb threat through an anonymous phone call.

Although thankfully nothing happened and all students are safe, this was definitely a wake-up call to the UA community. Just because we are lucky enough to live in a safe neighborhood with well-run and secure schools does not alleviate that “what if?” possibility.

It is important for all of us students to recognize this very important fact. We need to welcome Officer Rice with open arms because his presence is only to reassure that the main emphasis of school is towards learning and that should be the only thing students are to be concerned about.