Public forum on school resource officers in Guilford County

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Cpl. David Becton's feet almost never stop moving. He logs some 12,000 steps a day along the halls at Northeast Middle School.

"No point of being an SRO if you just stay in your office," he laughs as he walked down a long hall past the front office. "I don't even look at my watch. I'm too busy watching the kids, talking to them. I feel like I understand them because I used to be them. I play PlayStation, they play PlayStation. I encourage them and want them to know they can come to me for help."

Becton is part of the Guilford County Sheriff's Office and works as the school's resource officer.

The SRO's primary role is in creating a safe learning environment for all students. Obviously, all parents want a safe learning environment for their kids, but some parents question whether having law enforcement stationed in schools is the best way to do that.

The SRO's handle law enforcement issues in the school, but leave the school discipline to the school. It's a fine line and it's often up to the SRO's discretion to make a decision. A group called "Parents Protecting Parents" has asked the school board to consider removing SRO's from school.

The school board wants to hear what parents have to say tonight at a public forum. It begins at 7 p.m. at Penn-Griffin School of the Arts in High Point. There is a second public forum on SRO's in schools this Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m. at Grimsley High School.

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