Stillwater Public Schools Cutting Off Resource Officers
I saw some rumblings on the internet about how Stillwater was cutting off their school resource officers. I figured it was just another rumor, so I looked into it.
As it turned out, the administration has to find a way to cut money due to their budget. Why wouldn't these brilliant minds start with the resource officers? These armed police officers are the only deterrent that our schools currently have, we can do without them apparently.
Cutting to the chase in what will end up a fiasco, let's look at the numbers. The school district is responsible for 25% of each officers pay. Knowing that they have to cut $1.8million from the budget, there's an estimated $75k in salary that they'll be saving by firing the only sense of security the school currently has.
I get the argument, and you have to see things their way... They don't see this as letting their safety officers go... they view it completely as freeing up money. No different that any other company around the world. Bosses don't usually see people, they see numbers. It's a good business model, but not a good school administration model.
Normally, we would just go on and see eye to eye with the numbers, but something just doesn't add up. Having spent time in Stillwater, visiting from time to time, it's hard to not notice the top notch facilities that the public school system has. Yeah, the majority of all of it was probably built with donations and trust funds, but damn.
Granted, not all of the Stillwater facilities are new. Some are old and remodeled... but have you seen the athletic facilities? Talk about top notch.
The best stadium in the state of Oklahoma, Stillwater's Pioneer Stadium opened its gates on Sepetember 4, 2009.
Pioneer Stadium has been designed for football, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls track, band and even includes a new wrestling room on one side. The two-story press box is one of the finest in Oklahoma, with a breathtaking view of the city from its top level. Below the press box, in the entrance area on the west side of the stadium, are spacious openings for the sale of concessions, souvenirs and the new Pioneer Spirit Store. If SHS faculty members want to move classes outside for special work “in the field,” the stadium is available.
The stands on the west side in front of the press box are for the home town folks and students and provide seating for 4,000 – including 800 blue folding reserved seats. The visiting section seats 2,000. Friday night’s game was announced as a sellout of 6,000. The playing area is 70,000 square feet of FieldTurf, infilled with 480,000 pounds of silica sand and 200,000 pounds of cryogenic rubber “for athletic speed, agility and safety.”
On the north end of the stadium is the scoreboard, a 32-foot by 24-foot Daktronics unit which includes a 31-foot by 11-foot ProStar LED video display. There is a crew in the press box which keeps the scoreboard updated with messages and video from the field and stands. Video production is done by the OSU Sports Media Club, and there are four on-field cameras. The lighting is as good as it gets in Oklahoma, with 95 lumens at mid-field. There are 72 women’s toilets and 39 for men at the stadium.
Doing pretty well for a school district that needs money so bad they're firing the school resource officers. Think about it... It'd be like Cache claiming their broke after building that super impressive, multi-million dollar football facility. Shenanigans indeed.
Admittedly, I'm a little biased. I think it's ridiculous for school districts to spend enormous amounts of money on athletics when so many schools are lacking on the national and world academic scale.
Why aren't these extra-curricular facilities/activities taking the huge budget cuts? Why in the hell are these idiot administrators cutting the only safety in the building?
These days, personally I think every single school should have at least one armed/trained safety/resource officer on duty when the students are there. Yes, it's a thought driven by emotion. No, 'Gun Free Zones' signs won't protect a soul. Every child's life is precious, why not ensure their safety with any miens possible?
Now, in all fairness, before you go sending me hate mail... I realize that the athletic programs are probably taking a sizable budget hit... But if you're making these cuts, and you still have to take such drastic measures like Stillwater is doing... those cuts just aren't deep enough.