Black Lives Matter South Bend addresses resource officer concerns in South Bend Schools
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Members of Black Lives Matter South Bend spoke to the press today to discuss their concerns about School Resource Officers in the South Bend Community School Corporation.
BLM said they are concerned about the following:
- The School Corporation does not have a contract or Memorandum of Understanding with these officers
- If the Corporation does have a contract or MOU, it is not showing it to the public
- These officers do not have the required 40 hours of SRO training to operate in the schools
If the School Corporation does not have a contract or MOU, is in violation of Indiana State Law, Ind. Code § 20-26-18.2-2.
If these SROs do not have the required 40 hours of training, the School Corporation is in violation of Ind. Code § 20-26-18.2-1.
Members of BLM South Bend who spoke Wednesday afternoon said this issue was not about good cops versus bad cops but about the School Corporation not requiring SROs to operate under contracts as other staff, like teachers and bus drivers, are.
Trina Robinson, President of NAACP and CAFE (Community Action for Education), said that CAFE asked the School Corporation for documentation and data at least eight months ago and have not yet received that information.
BLM asks that SROs be removed from the School Corporation immediately until documentation is shown or these State Law requirements are met.
South Bend Community School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings issued the following statement:
"The Corporation does have an MOU from the 2012-13 academic year, which, according to the district's legal counsel, is considered an “indefinite MOU,” lasting until one or both parties formally end the agreement. Chief Crittendon, Mayor Mueller and I have been in conversation and plan to update the current MOU (which was signed several superintendents ago). We are not exploring the removal of SROs from South Bend schools at this time. Since the number of police recruits is down, the current arrangement between the South Bend Police Department and South Bend Community School Corporation may need to be restructured. Next steps for the corporation include the launch of a community survey on the topic of SRO's, so that we can hear directly from students, parents, teachers and other staff on the issue."
The following document outlines the South Bend Police Department's response: