Fremont high schools will no longer have on-campus police officers. The Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) will cease funding for school resource officers or SRO programs. The FUSD Board voted 3-2 to discontinue SROs on November 12, 2020. This vote followed a suggestion from the SRO Review Task Force, whose main focus emphasized mental health resources over SRO funding.
This Task Force came about in light of the murder of George Floyd by the police and the uprising of Black Lives Matter. In July, Fremont’s District Board of Trustees decided to reevaluate their SRO program and establish a Task Force with that responsibility. The Task Force consists of highly motivated Fremont community members, parents from each attendance area, SURFBoardE students, and several other employees that represent varying sectors of Fremont’s educational resources. Months later, the Task Force published a 69-page review on their research into the effectiveness of SROs on FUSD campuses. They compiled a series of interviews between students and alumni about their interactions with SROs as well as research into the SRO program.
Among their findings here are a few points to make note of:
- “Black and Latinx students (referred to in this report as students of color) and those with disabilities disproportionately experience negative impacts from the SRO program”
- “The Task Force found the SRO program to have (i) no measurable goals; (ii) no assessment of student outcomes; (iii) a complete lack of policies to guide administrators
- “(iv) a practice of using law enforcement for routine school discipline matters under the guise of counseling; (v) no training of administrative staff on protecting students’ rights; (vi) no data archived by the District to evaluate the program; and (vii) inadequate oversight”
Ultimately, the Task Force recommended the following:
- Remove the SRO Program
- Expand Effective, Safe, and Supporting Learning Environments
- Restructure all Law Enforcement Interactions
Now that the board voted to discontinue the SRO program, members of the Task Force have channeled their civil involvement efforts elsewhere. Mainly, the Task Force’s student members have started researching additional mental health resources to recommend for FUSD campuses.