Published in the Free Lance-Star
I would like to thank School Superintendent Scott Baker and Sheriff Roger Harris for their diligence and responsiveness in making progress on reducing the School to Prison pipeline in Spotsylvania County.
A milestone has been achieved with a new memorandum of understanding between the schools and the Sheriff’s Office, about the disciplinary roles of the school administrators and resource officers. A signing ceremony for this document is coming in the near future, and the community has a reason to celebrate this action.
Virginia Organizing, a local grassroots group, had previously identified four goals from concerns raised by parents and the community regarding the School to Prison pipeline. The four goals were: Regular and timely access to disciplinary action data with statistics including race, gender, and individuals with disabilities status; increased recruitment and hiring of minority teachers; staff training in implicit bias; and a new memorandum limiting the disciplinary role of school resource officers.
Progress has been made in each of these areas in the past year, and we all understand there is more to come. However, the community owes a big thank you to Superintendent Baker and Sheriff Harris for their leadership in this transformative process. My family is grateful and thanks them for listening and making improvements.
Bryn Pavek Stafford