Wake County school leaders met Wednesday with police officers assigned to the district’s schools, but the recent viral video of an officer slamming a student to the floor wasn’t on the agenda.
School resource officers were invited Wednesday to attend a mid-year breakfast meeting with agenda topics such as a welcome from Superintendent Jim Merrill and a discussion of changes in state law. The Jan. 3 incident at Rolesville High School was not discussed at the meeting, according to Lisa Luten, a Wake schools spokeswoman.
The nine-second video of a school resource officer lifting a Rolesville High School student into the air and dropping her to the floor has brought international attention to the role of police in schools. Local activists said at a Tuesday news conference that Wake should respond by removing police officers from schools.
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Wake school officials have said they’re disturbed by what they saw on the video and are now reviewing the district’s agreement with local law enforcement agencies on school resource officers.
For decades, the school system has contracted with law enforcement agencies to provide an armed officer at every high school and more recently at most middle schools. School resource officers provide security, speak in classes and mentor students. There are more than 60 school resource officers in Wake.
Luten said Wednesday’s meeting at the school district’s headquarters in Cary was planned before the Rolesville High incident. The breakfast was paid for by Allied Universal, the company that provides private security for the school system.
The breakfast coincided with how high schools are now holding final exams for this semester. Luten said the meeting was held this week because there’s fewer students on campus. Students only have to come in if they’re taking an exam.