Jay Simpson | In my book, school officers are a good resource

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As a student at Champaign Central High School, I remember the resource officer at the time, Ed Wachala, bringing food to a student who was less fortunate than most.

The student talked about that — in a good way — for the rest of our time at Central. The officer’s gesture showed us there are still some good ones who care about the kids’ well-being before anything else.

It’s part of the reason why I believe school resource officers are much-needed in every middle school and high school.

Not to be overcontrolling, but just to be in the back of the students’ minds, knowing there are consequences to bad decisions they make.

If you think schools are having problems now, imagine if they didn’t have resource officers.

The officers keep things in line during the day to the best of their ability. Kids who are being disrespectful with students or staff usually get their act together rather quickly when they see the resource officer coming. That’s not just because they’re intimidated by the officer, but because more than likely they respect the officer.

I’ve been around a few different resource officers from when I was in school and working at different schools. I honestly can say they are some of the coolest people I’ve met.

Yes, they are police. Yes, they have to do their job. But as long as the kids are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, they won’t have to worry about them doing their job on them.

Resource officers are placed in the schools to be more of a helping hand than a punisher. The resource officer we have at Urbana High School right now, Chad Burnett, is one the best I’ve seen. He’s a former teacher so he really knows how to interact with students on an intellectual level but also be an enforcer when needed. With all of the police injustice we have going on, it’s good to see good, genuine officers who treat people the right way.

Burnett is well-respected in the school, from students to staff. We appreciate everything he does to keep our school as safe as possible.

Jay Simpson, a student resource supervisor at Urbana High School, writes for The News-Gazette. His column appears Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. He can be reached at jsimpson@news-gazette.com.

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via The News-Gazette

September 9, 2020 at 09:16AM

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