Harper Measure Aims to Make School Resource Officers More Sensitive to Student Needs

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Rep. Sonya M. Harper, D-Chicago, is seeking to foster greater communication and understanding between students and school resource officers in neighborhood schools through training courses.

“Students should feel safe when they go to school, and parents should also have a sense of relief when their students are there. School resource officers can be a tremendous tool in fostering positive relationships between law enforcement and young people,” said Harper. “It’s time for local school resource officers to receive uniform training to best equip them to address restorative justice techniques, de-escalation best practices, crisis intervention, implicit bias and other techniques to help them best address the needs of every student who walks through those doors.”

Harper’s Senate Bill 2925 holds hold school resource officers to higher standards and requires the Enforcement Training Standard Board develop training courses for resources officers to better treat students with mental health issues, child abuse, adolescent developmental issues and more.

“Students face numerous struggles, especially those students who face the threats of school closures and may not live in healthy home environments,” said Harper. “The adults at school, at a minimum, need to be trained to be better caretakers and offer constructive guidance as students navigate personal and social challenges at a young age.”

Harper represents the 6th District, which includes all or portions of Armour Square, Bridgeport, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Gage Park, Back of the Yards, Canaryville, New City, West Englewood, and Marquette Park. To stay up to date with upcoming events, legislation and neighborhood news, please contact Rep. Harper’s office at repsonyaharper@gmail.com.