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Police respond to petition to kick school resource officers off Richland campuses

KEPR Action News
KEPR Action News
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RICHLAND, Wash. -- A new petition signed by over 1,000 former students, residents, and current students within the Richland School District have signed a petition asking for the removal of armed police officers on school grounds.

The petition asks the Richland School District to take a stand and make several policy changes in the aftermath of police brutality and systemic racism.

This is a list of some of the policy changes asked for in the petition:

  • Remove police/armed school resource officers in all K-12 schools
  • Commit to hiring diverse teaching staff
  • Diversify administration
  • Implement mandatory annual all-staff and administration diversity training
  • Create and monitor an anonymous web-based form for students to report any incidents of aggression, profiling, and misconduct by a fellow student, teacher, staff member, or administrator for each specific school
  • Overhaul code of conduct to place greater emphasis on not tolerating racism or microaggressions

Richland Police Captian Chris Lee tell Action News that having school resource officers on campus is important.

"Not only are they there for the protection and security of our most vulnerable population but they are there to establish relationships and start forming those connections with students as they are going about their duties throughout the day. Resource officers could be doing anything from helping a student with interactions at home or difficulty with school," explained Capt. Lee.

The petition reads, "For far too long, racism has been a pervasive issue in our community. RSD’s lack of actionable items diminishes the impact of their statement and the proposed commitment to battling systemic inequity that Black students have faced at the hands of their peers, teachers, and administration. As alumni of the Richland School District, we hope this letter will encourage all of you to think critically about systematic issues in our school district."

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You can read the petition here.

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