Letter: SRO comparison does not work

To the editor:

“I taught in an inner-city high school with 1,500 students. Gang warfare was rampant, and over 100 youths under the age of 21 were killed, citywide, by gun violence during my last 10 years teaching. Most of my students had lost a friend or relative to guns. Drive by shootings were commonplace, and teachers were warned to leave school immediately at the end of the day. There was a school resource officer in the building.”

This was the first line of Rick Sirvint’s Viewpoint piece about why cutting the SRO was a good idea. I think it immediately disqualifies him from the conversation. I know Rick and like him very much but the fact of the matter is, if you want to talk about facts then don’t refer to a school that sounds like a war zone as an argument against the Jaffrey-Rindge SRO.

Instead of lobbing statistics and statements of SRO’s violating people’s rights. Perhaps the School Board should have come to the school and walked the hallways and spoken with the teachers, students and parents before making this poorly thought decision.

I am grateful the Jaffrey-Rindge School District isn’t an inner city gang-ridden nightmare. But there are problems and these problems are fortunately on a small enough scale that our SRO can — I mean could — make a difference.

Robyn Payson


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