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Iowa City Community School District chooses not to use SROs in response to a new law



Iowa City, Iowa – The Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) School Board voted on Tuesday night to forgo having police officers present in classrooms. A new state statute that appeared to mandate it for larger districts prompted the decision.

A part of the statute pertaining to school districts with more than 8,000 children affects School Resource Officers (SROs). The law forces school boards to make a decision on the topic, but it does not mandate that those districts have SROs in every high school.

The school board in Iowa City decided on Tuesday not to add more police officers to the buildings.

“This is legally required by recently passed legislation that school boards have to bring this to a vote. So this is why this is on our agenda for tonight,” explained Ruthina Malone, president of the board.

Board member Charlie Eastham added, “Legislation that…requires us to make a decision is ill-considered, ill-timed, and dangerous to students in this district.”

A quarter of a million dollars or more would have been spent if the district had chosen to acquire SROs.

This is the same statute that established qualified immunity for instructors to carry firearms in schools. Like the SRO clause, it’s not obligatory. Local school districts must choose to participate. Teachers in that district won’t be able to carry a pistol to class if they don’t.

The ICCSD superintendent declared during the meeting that the district would not choose to let teachers to carry firearms.

There are eleven sufficiently big school districts in the state to be impacted by the SRO portion of this new law. Among these is the Cedar Rapids Community School District, which currently uses SROS.