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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

UF student talks to cops about policing in schools

A UF doctoral student told police officers and academics Wednesday that security in schools will likely increase after Monday’s school shooting in San Bernardino, California.

Kenneth Noble, a P.h.D. candidate in the College of Education, spoke at the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere at noon to an audience of nine about his dissertation on the history of policing in schools. He explained how an increase in police presence in schools started after the Columbine shooting, which happened about 18 years ago.

“Part of the push for a larger police presence in schools has come from a media portrayal, but also the fact that (school shooting and crime) are happening,” Noble said.

He said police officers in schools work to keep the school safe from crime and also improve the citizenship and respect for authority of students.

Noble expects school security to be more of a topic of discussion after Monday’s shooting, in which a man allegedly shot his estranged wife to death before killing himself, according to the Associated Press. In the gunfire, two students were also shot, and one 8-year-old student died after being taken to the hospital.

“With any school shooting, it causes concern,” he said.

In Alachua County, the 16 schools in the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction have at least one school resource officer stationed on campus, said ACSO spokesperson Art Forgey. He said Eastside High School and F. W. Buchholz High School have two deputies.

University Police also have one officer stationed at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, Sgt. Tim Peck said. Peck, who attended Noble’s talk, said police officers are a good resource for schools.

“(School resource officers) offer a personal touch, a personal interaction with a police officer,” he said.

Contact Meryl Kornfield at mkornfield@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter at @MerylKornfield

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