Legislature enacts Sen. Daughtry bill to help school resource officers better serve diverse student populations
AUGUSTA — On Monday, the Maine Senate voted to enact a bill from Sen. Mattie Daughtry, D-Brunswick, to help ensure school resource officers have the training they need to serve more diverse student populations. LD 1040, “An Act To Require Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training or Implicit Bias Training for School Resource Officers,” received unanimous support.
“School resource officers play an important role not just in keeping schools safe, but in teaching young people what to expect from law enforcement officers. We want our students to learn that they can go to police when they need help, and we want to make sure school resource officers have all the tools and training they need to best connect with the students they serve,” said Sen. Daughtry. “This bill is a step in the right direction, and I’m grateful to all my colleagues who supported it.”
LD 1040 would require a school resource officer to complete training regarding diversity, equity and inclusion or implicit bias training at least once during that officer’s first year of employment as a school resource officer.
“In many cases, in addition to potentially adding to the security of our schools if they should be faced with such a horrifying situation, some SROs have also provided schools with an additional adult to whom students can turn for support and guidance,” said Grace Leavitt, president of the Maine Education Association, in testimony supporting the bill. Leavitt added that, “at a minimum, the training called for in LD 1040 is a step in the right direction to ensure that schools that have SROs are doing what they can to create the safest and most welcoming learning environments for all of Maine’s students.”
LD 1040 now goes to Gov. Janet Mills, who has 10 days to either sign the bill, veto it or allow it to become law without her signature.