Should schools assign police officers to public schools to increase security?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Should schools assign police officers to public schools to increase security?

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The results of this poll are somewhat shocking especially given the fact that another poll on this website seemed to indicate an opposite feeling. When asked if they felt safe in their school, three quarters of teachers responded that they did. Why then would an almost equal number think that schools should assign police officers to increase security? It's a puzzling response.

Assigning police security at high risk schools seems appropriate especially if there is suspected or known gang activity within the school. Teacher and student safety is a concern and an increased police presence could help safeguard against violence. In the majority of schools where safety is not a concern what purpose would a police presence serve?

The money to supply public schools with police security would be an unnecessary burden on taxpayers, and put a strain on already tight school and police budgets. The atmosphere of fear that pervades much of society and spills into our schools must not be allowed to taint the educational process, especially to the detriment of other areas which truly require increased funding.

The typical suburban school with its occasional bullying or vandalism problems does not require police protection. When a problem arises that requires such action, police can respond just as they do to the rest of society. Schools should not become police states in the name of increased security. While students have the right to violence free education, they also have the right to learn in an open environment not hampered by the constraints of police officers. In a very few schools this might be beneficial but not in the majority.

While the idea of assigned police officers is appealing to some, it is not a huge stretch of the imagination to see such situations get out of control. Will we allow police officers to search our children for weapons whenever they enter the school? Will they be frisked liked suspected criminals simply for doing nothing more than walking through the front door?

Police officers do play an important role in the education system when they speak to students about the dangers of gangs, drugs and drunk driving. In most schools this is enough. In high risk schools, the added presence of one police officer is unlikely to deter those students determined to get into trouble.