DRO submits additional testimony on bill to train school resource officers
June 6, 2018 / education
Disability Rights Ohio has submitted additional testimony on Ohio House Bill 318, which would create training requirements for school resources officers (SRO) and set aside $10 million in funding to help schools pay for the training. DRO is concerned that the training portion of the legislation is vague and does not create a specific, evidence-based training for teachers, administrators and SRO's. Also, while it establishes training requirements for SROs, there is no requirement for third-party security officers, leaving some students at risk.
From the testimony:
While, HB 318 allows for grant funding to be used for "training to identify and assist students with mental health issues," this provision is vague and does not establish a specific training for teachers, administrators, and SRO's. Enhancing this definition and specifying evidence-based trainings for education professionals, schools would be able to meet their federal requirements. Specifically, the committee should consider allowing for the grant to be used in establishing positive behavior intervention and supports ("PBIS") in schools.
Districts are already required to establish PBIS policies4 in their schools, however, the most recent data available shows schools have not been properly implementing these policies. Many districts still report incidents of restraint and seclusion. Data collected in 2014 shows 5,095 incidents of restraint and 2,975 incidents of seclusion in Ohio schools.5 Schools would be able to meet their federal obligations if they were given more resources to establish effective PBIS policies with trained staff. Therefore, the committee should consider specifying the grant funding to be used in school implementation of PBIS.