First Draft of MOU
The District 203 School Board reviewed the first draft of a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, at their latest meeting.
The MOU focuses on the role of school resource officers in student discipline.
“This MOU between the City of Naperville and the Board of Education is intended to promote a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, staff and other members of our school community,” said Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Nancy Voise. “This MOU will now operationalize and clarify the responsibilities of the city and the District, their roles and responsibilities of the SRO and administrators and the scope of their authority in the administration of the SRO program.”
The proposed MOU states that the district is responsible for training SROs in district procedures and policies relevant to the SRO program.
If a student under the age of 18 needs to be questioned or detained at school, the SRO needs to notify the principal first. Then, the student’s parents or guardian will be contacted to make sure they are there as well.
If they cannot be reached, the principal and a school mental health professional like a psychologist or social worker must be present.
Minor students cannot be taken out of school by the SRO without the consent of a parent, unless there is a warrant for arrest.
SROs will consult weekly with the principal and their performance will be evaluated annually by the Naperville Police Department and school officials.
Why is an MOU Being Implemented?
Implementing a district-wide MOU has been a request from Maureen and Doug Walgren, whose son Corey died by suicide in January 2017 not long after he was questioned by school officials and an SRO at Naperville North without a parent present.
“The MOU needs clear descriptions. If a Dean determines legal or criminal issues are involved, then the Dean should follow the new law, HB 2627, and call the parents before bringing in the SRO or outside police,” said Maureen at the January 21 meeting.
The MOU also outlines student discipline. The school is responsible for carrying out rules, policies, and procedures.
An SRO can become involved if school officials feel like they need their help to protect the physical safety of students and staff.
The board plans to make a final decision at the February 18 meeting.
February 5 would have been Corey’s 20th birthday.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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