Some Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools will see an increased law enforcement presence. The additional school resource officers were approved at Thursday's board meeting.
The four high schools gaining school resource officers, or SROs, are R.J. Reynolds, Parkland, Glenn, and Mount Tabor, which was the scene of a deadly shooting in September. Paisley Middle School is also getting an additional officer.
The move will come at a cost of $212,000. School board member Elisabeth Motsinger — who cast the one opposing vote — asked if research was compiled as it would be before funding other school programs at this level of expense. Superintendent Tricia McManus said she didn't know the research around SROs in schools and said she deferred to the “expertise” of law enforcement.
Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough, who attended the meeting, said there are situations where having increased SRO presence is helpful.
“The question is, will two SROs prevent it? We don't know that. But what we do know is that two SROs on a campus will give you a quicker response, it'll give you more resources, it'll give you more intelligence so you know what's happening in your schools in terms of interacting, mentor with the kids; an SRO does a lot of things,” Kimbrough said.
The board also approved a wellness day off for students, teachers, and staff on November 12, in conjunction with World Kindness Day. The YMCA, Imprints, and city and county resources will be available for free child care if needed.