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Safety Law News for December 12, 2018

In Congress, the House of Representatives has introduced H.R.7209 – “The School Resource Officer Act of 2018.” The bill would amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 and reauthorize the Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services program at $300 million in funding per year through 2022. 

In Oregon, the Portland Board of Education is holding a series of hearings with stakeholders on a proposed MOU with the Portland Police Department for a school resource officer program. A summary the input from students ranges from: (1) fear and anxiety when viewing uniformed police; (2) lack of understanding about the role of the SRO; (3) the desire to have a dedicated officer as a means to having a meaningful relationship; (4) the belief that the SRO is the key to campus safety from outsiders; (5) desire to have a voice in the selection of the SRO. 

In New York, the Governor signed into law a mandated reporting policy that requires all private schools — including charter schools, state-supported and state-operated schools as well as boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) — to report abuse allegations directly to law enforcement, the child's parents and the Department of Education. (Bill A08485B). 

In West Virginia, officials are considering responses to a report that $100 million is needed to employ the number of mental health workers needed in schools to serve children affected by the ongoing drug epidemic. A study cited by the ACEs Connection, estimates that 26.1 percent of West Virginia children have experienced an adverse childhood experience, compared to 21.7 percent nationwide. 

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