Rochester City School District on Verge of Returning Police Presence in Schools

It was reported this week that the Rochester City School District is working towards establishing a  return of police presence in the schools after removing them 18 months ago. Frequent fighting among students and an uptick of gang activity was cited as the reason.

Starting this week   uniformed officers were stationed during bus arrival and dismissal at area high schools as   what Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small called the start of “a high-alert safety initiative.”

School board members who successfully  fought to remove police strongly protested the return of uniformed officers as a solution to the problem.

“You tell me a situation where police in the district actually prevented an act of violence,” Beatriz LeBron said. “They didn’t prevent [expletive].

Board member Ricardo Adams said the district has done a poor job following through with the board’s initial pledge to add social workers and guidance counselors and train staff in the use of restorative practices. The goal was to avoid funneling students toward incarceration through the so-called school-to-prison pipeline.

“We’re supposed to be proactively engaging with students and we’re not doing it,” he said. “A lot of work was put into this, and we’re panicking and possibly dismissing all that work.