Home Education Video: Powerful Testimony as Fairfax County Public School Board Adopts School Resource...

Video: Powerful Testimony as Fairfax County Public School Board Adopts School Resource Officer MoU

"I thought that if I came forward I would face the consequences and that I would be separated from my family...I know there's a lot of fear in our community today"

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Last night, the Fairfax County School Board voted to approve a School Resource Officer Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which it describes as “a collaborative effort between Fairfax County Public Schools, the Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Police Department.” A few key items in the MOU are that it:

  • “Establishes a clear division between the role of the SRO in criminal matters and the FCPS administrative staff on student discipline matters.
  • Clarifies that SROs are not involved in determining student discipline under the SRR.
  • Removes “stop and frisk” from the MOU.
  • Removes reference to “cultural and social influences” from the MOU.
  • Adds SRO training focused on Implicit Bias, Disability Awareness, Crisis Intervention training, Restorative Justice, and Cultural Competency.
  • Stresses partnership between School administrators, special education staff, and the police department.”

Also see below for a series of Follow-On Motions, all of which carried, pertaining to SRO training, SRO presence (or not) at discipline-related meetings, scenarios in which FCPD might “share any information about FCPS students or family members with other law enforcement agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” etc.

Finally, check out the video of last night’s Fairfax County Public School Board meeting, which contained some powerful testimony from the public – starting at around 11:50 – on these topics. One of the most powerful of these begins at around 38:10, by a young man named Rodrigo who talks about being an undocumented immigrant, facing physical abuse as a 10th grader, but not feeling comfortable coming forward because he could be separated from his family.”  According to Rodrigo (bolding added by me for emphasis):

This is an important topic to me personally because I want to share with you probably the hardest and most painful memory in my life. I was a 10th grader at Robert E. Lee High School, and I was being physically abused. I was being hit time and time again and didn’t feel comfortable talking to my School Resource Officer, my counselor, or any of my teachers. I was afraid  because I was undocumented. I thought that if I came forward I would face the consequences and that I would be separated from my familyI know there’s a lot of fear in our community today and I think the School Board can have [an] important conservation moving forward of what we can do to ensure that any student, any person who’s experiencing any form of violence is comfortable moving forward, coming forward and being able to report what’s going on in their lives. I was barely at the age of being able to drive when I had to make the decision over whether I would come forward to the police or have to face the constant beatings that I had to face on a daily basis. I not only have to live with these painful memories for the rest of my life, I’ll have to live with the scars on my back as an every day reminder of what happens when we don’t create proactive policies that protect and empower students…I know there are students like me right now who are too afraid to come forward. It’s the duty of this board, the duty of every single person in this room, to ensure that we create a more just future, one where survivors and victims of domestic violence don’t have to live in silence.

Board Member Proposed Follow-On Motions:

  1. I move that the Board direct the superintendent to report to the board the details of required SRO training, including the required topics and frequency of the training. Due date: March 31, 2019. (Hynes)
  2. I move that the Board direct the superintendent to report to the board on how the MOU could be clarified to ensure that: (a) administrative discipline-related conversations with students are conducted by FCPS staff only, with no SRO presence; and (b) law-enforcement-related conversations are conducted separately, by SROs only, unless parents or school staff feel a student would benefit from the presence of another trusted adult. Due date: March 31, 2019 (Hynes)
  3. I move that the Board direct the superintendent to report to the board on current practices regarding SRO participation in hearings office hearings and the feasibility of excluding SROs from physically participating in discipline hearings conducted by the hearings office. Due date: March 31, 2019 (Hynes)
  4. I move that the Board direct the superintendent to include the “Program Assessment” reported data (MOU page 20) on the FCPS equity scorecard, in an easily accessible format for community members. Due date: when the data is available from FCPD (Hynes)
  5. I move that the Board direct the superintendent to report to the board an exhaustive description of all the possible scenarios, under current FCPD actual practices, in which FCPD might share any information about FCPS students or family members with other law enforcement agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Due date: October 31, 2018. (Hynes)
  6. I move that the Board direct the superintendent to conduct a crosswalk of the parent notification requirements for SROs and school staff as outlined in the MOU with the current SR&R, and to provide potential recommended changes to the 2019-2020 SR&R that will achieve better alignment.  The superintendent will bring recommendations for improved parent notification when he reports to the Board on discipline issues in the fall 2018 (Evans/McLaughlin)
  7. I move that the Board direct the superintendent to conduct a crosswalk of the parent notification requirements for SROs and school staff, as outlined in the MOU with the current SR&R, and to provide potential recommended changes to the 2019-2020 SR&R that will achieve better alignment. (This crosswalk should include but not be limited to parent notification practices used in questioning, obtaining written statements, and accessing the information of personal cell phones of minor students). The superintendent will bring recommendations for improved parent notification when he reports to the Board on discipline issues in fall 2018. (Schultz)
  8. I move that the Board advocate for a seat on the Fairfax County Police Department Citizen Review Panel to be filled by an appointee of the School Board. (McElveen)
  9. I move that the Board direct the Superintendent to review the “Directory Information” process as referenced in the SRO MOU and provide recommendations that will improve the protection of sensitive student information. These recommendations should include: potential improvements to FCPS’ Opt-Out practices, potential revisions to the list of “student information items” being included in the Directory Information, as well as an enhancement of parental/guardian understanding of the terminology “Directory Information”. The Superintendent will report back to the Board no later than April 2019. (McLaughlin/Keys-Gamarra)

Attachment:

SRO MOU Draft Version

Motion & Voting

View All Motions

I move that the School Board approve the School Resource Officer Memorandum of Understanding as detailed in the agenda item
Motion by Karen A Keys-Gamarra, second by Dalia Palchik.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Sandra S Evans, Tom Wilson, Megan McLaughlin, Dalia Palchik, Jane K Strauss, Patricia Hynes, Tamara D Kaufax, Karen A Keys-Gamarra, Ilryong Moon – Vice Chair, Karen Corbett Sanders – Chair
Abstain: Ryan McElveen, Elizabeth Schultz
I move that the Board direct the superintendent to report to the board the details of required SRO training, including the required topics and frequency of the training. Due date: March 31, 2019.
Motion by Patricia Hynes, second by Dalia Palchik.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Sandra S Evans, Tom Wilson, Megan McLaughlin, Dalia Palchik, Ryan McElveen, Jane K Strauss, Patricia Hynes, Elizabeth Schultz, Tamara D Kaufax, Karen A Keys-Gamarra, Ilryong Moon – Vice Chair, Karen Corbett Sanders – Chair
I move that the Board direct the superintendent to report to the board on how the MOU could be clarified to ensure that: (a) administrative discipline-related conversations with students are conducted by FCPS staff only, with no SRO presence; and (b) law-enforcement-related conversations are conducted separately, by SROs only, unless parents or school staff feel a student would benefit from the presence of another trusted adult. Due date: March 31, 2019
Motion by Patricia Hynes, second by Dalia Palchik.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Sandra S Evans, Megan McLaughlin, Dalia Palchik, Ryan McElveen, Jane K Strauss, Patricia Hynes, Tamara D Kaufax, Karen A Keys-Gamarra, Ilryong Moon – Vice Chair, Karen Corbett Sanders – Chair
No: Elizabeth Schultz
Not Present at Vote: Tom Wilson
I move that the Board direct the superintendent to report to the board on current practices regarding SRO participation in hearings office hearings and the feasibility of excluding SROs from physically participating in discipline hearings conducted by the hearings office. Due date: March 31, 2019
Motion by Patricia Hynes, second by Karen A Keys-Gamarra.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Sandra S Evans, Megan McLaughlin, Dalia Palchik, Ryan McElveen, Jane K Strauss, Patricia Hynes, Elizabeth Schultz, Tamara D Kaufax, Karen A Keys-Gamarra, Ilryong Moon – Vice Chair, Karen Corbett Sanders – Chair
Not Present at Vote: Tom Wilson
I move that the Board direct the superintendent to include the “Program Assessment” reported data (MOU page 20) on the FCPS equity scorecard, in an easily accessible format for community members. Due date: when the data is available from FCPD
Motion by Patricia Hynes, second by Karen A Keys-Gamarra.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Sandra S Evans, Megan McLaughlin, Dalia Palchik, Ryan McElveen, Jane K Strauss, Patricia Hynes, Tamara D Kaufax, Karen A Keys-Gamarra, Ilryong Moon – Vice Chair, Karen Corbett Sanders – Chair
Not Present at Vote: Tom Wilson, Elizabeth Schultz

I move that the Board direct the superintendent to report to the board an exhaustive description of all the possible scenarios, under current FCPD actual practices, in which FCPD might share any information about FCPS students or family members with other law enforcement agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Due date: October 31, 2018.

This motion was amended by Mr. Moon, seconded by Mr. Wilson. Amended version approved unanimously with ELS away from table.

Motion by Patricia Hynes, second by Sandra S Evans.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Sandra S Evans, Tom Wilson, Megan McLaughlin, Dalia Palchik, Ryan McElveen, Jane K Strauss, Patricia Hynes, Tamara D Kaufax, Karen A Keys-Gamarra, Ilryong Moon – Vice Chair, Karen Corbett Sanders – Chair
Not Present at Vote: Elizabeth Schultz
I move that the Board direct the superintendent to conduct a crosswalk of the parent notification requirements for SROs and school staff as outlined in the MOU with the current SR&R, and to provide potential recommended changes to the 2019-2020 SR&R that will achieve better alignment. The superintendent will bring recommendations for improved parent notification when he reports to the Board on discipline issues in the fall 2018 (Evans/McLaughlin)
Motion by Sandra S Evans, second by Megan McLaughlin.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Sandra S Evans, Tom Wilson, Megan McLaughlin, Dalia Palchik, Ryan McElveen, Jane K Strauss, Patricia Hynes, Elizabeth Schultz, Tamara D Kaufax, Karen A Keys-Gamarra, Ilryong Moon – Vice Chair, Karen Corbett Sanders – Chair
I move to amend the follow-on motion as follows: That the Board direct the superintendent to conduct a crosswalk of the parent notification requirements for SROs and school staff, as outlined in the MOU with the current SR&R, and to provide potential recommended changes to the 2019-2020 SR&R that will achieve better alignment. (This crosswalk should include but not be limited to parent notification practices used in questioning, obtaining written statements, and accessing the information of personal cell phones of minor students). The superintendent will bring recommendations for improved parent notification when he reports to the Board on discipline issues in fall 2018.
Motion by Elizabeth Schultz, second by Karen A Keys-Gamarra.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Sandra S Evans, Tom Wilson, Megan McLaughlin, Dalia Palchik, Ryan McElveen, Jane K Strauss, Patricia Hynes, Elizabeth Schultz, Tamara D Kaufax, Karen A Keys-Gamarra, Ilryong Moon – Vice Chair, Karen Corbett Sanders – Chair
I move to amend the motion to read: that the Board direct the superintendent to report to the board a description of the current FCPDs practices, of sharing any information about FCPS students or family members with other law enforcement agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Due date: October 31, 2018.
Motion by Ilryong Moon – Vice Chair, second by Tom Wilson.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Sandra S Evans, Tom Wilson, Megan McLaughlin, Dalia Palchik, Ryan McElveen, Jane K Strauss, Patricia Hynes, Tamara D Kaufax, Karen A Keys-Gamarra, Ilryong Moon – Vice Chair, Karen Corbett Sanders – Chair
Not Present at Vote: Elizabeth Schultz
I move that the Board advocate for a seat on the Fairfax County Police Department Citizen Review Panel to be appointed by the School Board.
Motion by Ryan McElveen, second by Megan McLaughlin.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Sandra S Evans, Tom Wilson, Megan McLaughlin, Dalia Palchik, Ryan McElveen, Jane K Strauss, Patricia Hynes, Elizabeth Schultz, Tamara D Kaufax, Karen A Keys-Gamarra, Ilryong Moon – Vice Chair, Karen Corbett Sanders – Chair