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Petition drive beginning to remove school resource officers in Buffalo

School resource officers are used in school across the United States.

There is a petition drive expected soon aimed at getting armed and uniformed Buffalo Police officers out of city schools.

These School Resource Officers are part of a special bureau of the Police Department responsible for safety in 120 schools across the city. Education Activist Elisa Schreiber said they have to go.

"From my experience, most gang members don’t go to school. So the primary danger is outside, in the community. And, still, the kids have less of a danger than they do from the police," Schreiber said.

She said there also are too many occasions for problems between minority kids and officers.
"Our kids are not safe. You’re looking at a school system with a population of children that are mostly Black and Brown children, and older kids of course, in high school, that have to deal with the fear of dealing with the police in their community on a daily basis," she said.

Schreiber said the school system does not need the constant pressure of the SROs, nor does it need the off-duty officers often used for school events like football or basketball games.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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