Schools, not resource officers, will handle student discipline in Fairfax Co.

WASHINGTON — The school resource officers at Fairfax County, Virginia, public schools will not play a role in determining student discipline beginning this year.

They also won’t be assisting federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement in routine cases.

A revised memorandum of understanding between the school district and the county’s police department, approved Tuesday by the county’s board of supervisors, does the following:

  • establishes a clear division between the role of officers in criminal matters and school administrative staff on student discipline matters;
  • clarifies that officers are not involved in determining student discipline;
  • establishes that officers shall not be involved with the enforcement of school rules or disciplinary infractions that are not violations of law;
  • removes “stop and frisk” from the memorandum; and
  • adds officer training focused on “implicit bias, disability awareness, crisis intervention training, restorative justice techniques and cultural competency,” according to the district.

In addition, language was added stating: “[Police] officers are not agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and, as such, they shall not participate in any requests for assistance that is not of a criminal nature within the [schools].”

Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand and police Chief Edwin Roessler had produced the revised draft agreement, which was reviewed during three community meetings in July.

“We believe the revised [memorandum] will further strengthen the trust and relationship between our school administrators, [school resource officers] and our community,” said Karen Corbett Sanders, the school board chair, in a prepared statement.

The 51 officers serve in middle schools, high schools and secondary schools throughout the district, according to the school system.


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