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No Need for School Officer, Darien Teens Say

Students Courtney Wynne and Sophie Watters aren't convinced that having a uniformed, armed police officer in the halls is a real necessity, even though the Board of Education last week approved having a Student Resource Officer in Darien High School.

"I feel like it's a redundancy in the system," said Wynne. "If people have issues, they go see the guidance counselor. We have safety monitors in the school. It's not like they're leaving us to hang. We already have plenty of resources."

Many students were confused about why a police officer would be necessary. School officials have said in the past that the officer would be there so students could ask questions or voice concerns about safety or law enforcement. They also said students would have an opportunity to form closer relationship with the police department.

"The most you would see them would be maybe once, twice a day," Watters said, pointing out that it is much easier for students to bond with teachers if they are looking for somebody to talk to. Most students felt that the Darien Police's Youth Detectives could handle any law enforcement questions or concerns that couldn't be answered by a guidance counselor or safety monitor.

"I feel that through the Depot I'm able to befriend them and have a closer, more personal relationship anyway," Wynne said. The students agreed that having an officer in the school would feel intimidating. "Nobody's going to want to talk to them," said Goose Bolton.

Kristi Carey was struggling to come up with a reason why an officer would even be needed in school. She said that, beyond a short segment on Blue Wave News, the administration has not informed the students or sought their opinion on the matter. "I just don't know why we would need it," she said. The officer would be funded by the municipal budget and still needs RTM approval.

What do you think about having a student resource officer in the high school? Is it necessary? Keep the conversation going on Facebook and Twitter .

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