Viewpoints: Benefits of SRO from a student’s perspective
As a student at Conant High School, I have had firsthand experience in seeing the benefits of having a school resource officer, something those in the community have not had. To be honest, I never thought that having a SRO would do me much good. I pictured him to be only involved with the fights and behavioral issues, but he has done so much more. He is always ready to talk to anyone about any question or problem they have.
As a junior I came up with the idea to do a mock DWI accident to show the effects of driving while intoxicated. When Officer Anderson heard about it, he was willing to do everything he could to help me make it happen. We worked for about two months, meeting with heads of the different emergency departments to plan the logistics of the presentation. In the beginning of May, before prom and graduation season, “Project Crash” came to life for the juniors and seniors at Conant. Student actors were used and a very powerful presentation was put on, showing the reality of drunk driving. Without Officer Anderson being in our school, I doubt that it would have been able to happen. He was able to easily contact all the involved parties, and get everything approved, something that would have been much harder to do on my own.
It was last semester that I realized how cool it was to have an SRO at Conant during the required Senior Civics class. While discussing probable cause and searches in relation to schools, a few questions arose that my teacher did not know how to answer. Knowing Officer Anderson would have the answers, I asked if I could go up to his office and have him come to our classroom. He happened to be free at that moment and was able to come down and answer all of our questions. As we talked, more questions came up, so he ended up staying for the remainder of the class that day. It was fun for all of us to be able to ask all sorts of questions and get answers that we knew were correct.
In addition, I took health class when Officer Anderson was the SRO. He came and did a presentation during our unit on alcohol, which added a lot to the textbook learning. He was able to show us an actual video from a DWI incident, answer questions, as well as allow us to use drunk goggles to simulate what it was like to be drunk. The presentation gave us so much more knowledge than simply reading the textbook, hearing a lecture and taking notes. Arranging a presentation like this would have been much more difficult without an SRO.
After seeing nothing but positive things come from having an SRO at Conant High School, I believe that it benefits everyone in the school and is a position that we should keep.
Chastity Dupuis of Jaffrey is a Senior at Conant High School.