School resource officers to remain at the two campuses of Taft HS for 2022-23 school year following LSC vote
by BRIAN NADIG
The Taft High Local School Council at its June 14 meeting approved having on-site police officers for the 2022-2023 school year.
The vote occurred three weeks after the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead, and some LSC members mentioned that incident when explaining their reason for wanting officers assigned to the school.
LSC parent member Chris Raguso said that there is too much “craziness” in the world not to have officers at the school.
LSC parent member Alix Davila said that a police presence makes sense for Taft given it is one of the largest schools in the state, with about 4,300 students.
Some members praised the school resource officers for their arrest of a parent who reportedly walked by the security desk at the freshman campus and headed toward a classroom in apparent attempt to confront a student. The officers assisted school security guards and the man was taken into custody, school officials said.
In a school survey, 95 percent of parents, 78 percent of teachers and 75 percent of students voiced support for keeping the school resource officers, according Taft principal Mark Grishaber.
Grishaber said that the officers assigned to Taft have positively interacted with students and that Taft is a role model for how schools and the police can work together.
All the council members who were at the meeting voted to in favor of the Taft “whole school” safety plan, which calls for the retention of the school resource officers, except for one student representative who abstained because she said that she is graduating and will not be at Taft in the fall.
Taft’s safety plan also includes the following recommendations: decrease disorder in the hallways; build healthier relationships among teachers, parents and students; and increase socio-emotional learning supports and mental health services for students.
It was reported at the meeting that high schools which previously voted to remove officers cannot get them back for next school year but that the school system may be looking to adjust the policy for the future.