Sen. Daughtry introduces bills to help school resource officers better serve diverse student populations
AUGUSTA — On Wednesday, Sen. Mattie Daughtry, D-Brunswick, introduced a bill to 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,” was the subject of a public hearing before the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.
“Across Maine, in many districts, student resource officers are beloved members of our school systems. Many of these officers are already doing incredible work helping the students under their supervision, as well as their communities,” said Sen. Daughtry. “This bill is looking ahead, to help make sure that any school resource officers in our schools are equipped to address issues of implicit bias, diversity, equity and inclusion.”
LD 1040 would require a school resource officer to complete diversity, equity and inclusion training 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.”
The bill faces further action in committee.