As we report this week, the Cazenovia Board of Education recently decided not to pursue the hiring of one or more School Resource Officers (SROs) as an additional safety/security measure for the district in this year’s budget, if at all. The board’s discussion on the issue made clear that nearly every board member opposed hiring resource officers, and a straw poll of members after the discussion solidified the sentiment with only one member — Leigh Baldwin — stating his support for SROs.
While there were multiple reasons the board was disinclined to fund/hire SROs currently — such as philosophical, budgetary and political differences with the idea — it was also stated that none of the board members had received any substantial public feedback indicating that district parents and residents had an overwhelming desire for SROs to be hired.
Interestingly, after we posted our story on the issue on our website and Facebook page, we received one letter to the editor (see page 4) and 21 comments on Facebook by residents stating their shock and dismay over the board’s decision. While 22 comments in a district of thousands of residents is not an avalanche of opposition, clearly some people in the community are in favor of the district hiring SROs.
As we often say in this newspaper, elected officials make the best decisions they can with the information and experience they have, but if their constituents do not tell them how they feel on issues then those representatives cannot always accurately represent the people. The board made its decision based on member opinions, research and board discussion, and the lack of substantial public support for SROs. If parents and community members feel the board should reconsider the hiring of SROs for our district — or that the board made the correct decision to not hire any SROs at the moment — they need to let school board members know.
All board member email addresses and phone numbers are listed on the district website at cazenoviacsd.com/board-of-education. The next board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 16, in the board meeting room in the middle school.