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Holt students had doubts about having a school resource officer. The district invited them to share.

Holt Public Schools - FINAL
Posted at 12:33 PM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 12:33:25-04

LANSING, Mich. — Students in the Holt School District confide in their teachers that they had concerns about having a school resource officer in district buildings.

“Some students have mentioned, 'I'm having issues outside of school,' and then our school resource officer being the officer dispatched to handle these situations. And then having this sense of feeling uncomfortable then seeing this person later, when that person witnessed one of their lowest times," said Teryn Henderson, a Spanish teacher at the Holt High School.

"We've also had students from other historically marginalized groups like our LGBTQ plus students, mentioned feeling unsafe," she said, "and students have shared even...that they are taught from a very young age to have these active shooter drills and so then seeing somebody in the school with a gun, I'm bringing them some feelings of uneasiness,”

The district decided to give students a platform and will be hosting a series of five focus groups for school administration, staff, community, families and students.

The school partnered with the Resolution Services Center to help facilitate the conversations, which will run until May.

Chris Billingslea, Inclusion and Outreach Coordinator for the Holt Public Schools says this is not to decide whether or not the school should have an officer but to have a dialogue and create understanding.

“Whether we have different differences in opinions or whatnot. It's important for us to listen to each other and treat each other with that dignity or respect,” said Billingslea.

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