School Resource Officers and the Safety of Our Students

School resource officers have long been a fixture in many urban schools.
Credit rob.wall / Creative Commons

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, something changed at many schools in Connecticut. Armed guards started appearing in places they hadn’t before: in elementary and middle schools. Districts have struggled with the questions of whether this kind of increased security is worth the cost, and whether it provides the kind of school environment they want.

In many urban districts, “school resource officers” have long been a fixture. They’re more than just police officers. They can be mentors and guides, and can keep an ear to the ground for any sign of gangs, violence or drugs.

But having police in schools has also prompted concern about the prevalence of in-school arrests, viewed by most educators as the wrong way to deal with kids who cause trouble.

Do armed guards in school help protect our kids? How much do they cost?


  • Caleb Lopez - President of the Connecticut School Resource Officer Association 
  • Representative Jason Rojas - State Representative serving the 9th Assembly District 
  • Marisa Halm​ - Center for Children's Advocacy and Director of the Team Child Juvenile Justice Project 
  • Dr. Joseph Cirasuolo​ - Executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents