Va. city votes to temporarily bring back SROs after videos of violent brawls

Last week, school officials pleaded for officers’ return

By Suzie Ziegler 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In May, the Alexandria City Council decided to remove school resource officers and use the $800,000 to instead hire mental health professionals, according to ABC 7. But, after a series of videos surfaced showing violent schoolyard brawls, some community members worried that getting rid of SROs was the wrong decision. 

Now, in a reversal on Tuesday, ABC 7 reports that the city has voted to temporarily reinstate SROs. 

The fight videos, posted on Instagram and Facebook, show student assaults in the cafeteria, parking lot and at a nearby McDonald’s. Last week, a student was arrested for bringing a firearm to school, the report said. 

According to ABC 7, many parents and teachers believe there has been a spike in violence since SROs were removed. The officers were released at the beginning of the 2021 school term, the report says. 

Last week, district Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. called for a return to SROs. 

“I’m pleading with the City Council this evening that we reinstate our school resource officers immediately,” said Hutchings at a city council meeting.

[RELATED: Why we should not remove SROs from our schools]

According to ABC 7, police reports show there has been violence in Alexandria schools even with SROs. However, a police source tells ABC 7 that about half the incidents are not reported because they are resolved on-site without arrests. 

It wasn’t immediately clear how long the temporary reinstatement will last.

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