Maturity equals safety

School campus officers should not discipline students

By Crystal Chen

In order to ensure a safe learning environment, school campus officers are called to handle cases of student misconduct. However, school campus officers should not be called in to discipline students.

Law enforcement and the policy of zero tolerance had originally been implemented into the educational setting to maintain school security. Specifically, zero tolerance was implemented to battle serious crime committed by teenagers, such as drug dealing and gang violence.

While the percentage of students who feel unsafe at school has dropped from 12 to three percent in the last 18 years, according to CNN, cases in which school campus officers exercised unnecessary force has become more common.

For example, a student trying to break up a fight at a Texas high school suffered severe brain damage after he was tased by a school campus officer in 2014, according to CNN. Two middle school students suffered head injuries after the same campus officer hit them for cutting the school lunch line in separate incidents. And, most recently, a North Carolina student was thrown across the classroom by an officer when she refused to put her phone away during class.

As officers of the law, school campus officers are trained to handle serious disruptions and threats that compromise the law and are beyond the control of teachers and administrators. However, in many of these cases, the student’s misbehavior was minor and did not pose a serious threat to the school environment, making their intervention unnecessary.

High school students should know to conduct themselves maturely on campus. As young adults, it is their responsibility to maintain their own educational setting and be in charge of their own education.

School is a place where students learn right from wrong. It is both the teacher’s responsibility to guide their students and the student’s’ responsibility to behave themselves during class. Unless the student breaks the law or poses a physical threat to fellow students and teachers, there is no need for school campus officers to tell students to put their phones away during class or not cut the lunch line.