Abingdon, Va. – The Washington County Chapter of Virginia Organizing celebrated the recent news that the Washington County Sheriff’s Department and Washington County Public Schools have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU will govern the training requirements for school resource officers and the scope and limitations of their duties with regard to school discipline. The primary goals of the MOU are to promote positive and supportive school climates and to create and maintain safe and secure school environments.
The MOU represents two years of collaboration between Virginia Organizing, law enforcement, and the public schools.
“The recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the school district and the sheriff’s office was a collaborative effort to provide clarity and guidelines for school resource officers,” said Jerry Hill, a leader in the Washington County Chapter of Virginia Organizing. “As a result, the officers are better equipped to assist in providing a safe and nurturing environment for all Washington County students.”
Washington County Schools Superintendent Brian C. Ratliff and Sheriff Fred Newman both issued statements.
“The MOU is an important step in our ongoing relationship with local law enforcement officials because our students, families, colleagues, and community benefit from the fostering and promotion of safe, secure and healthy school communities,” said Dr. Ratliff.
“The Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Office is proud of the combined efforts in making our schools safer through quality training for our SROs and in developing working relationships from all parties involved,” said Sheriff Newman. “Our ultimate goal is the safety and security of our faculty, staff, and students.”
All three organizations are immensely proud of the work they did in reaching this understanding, and believe it is a necessary first step in disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline.
To interview a spokesperson, contact Susan Stancill at 919-349-2658 or firstname.lastname@example.org