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Turtle Wing Provides Targeted Training for School Resource Officers, Command Staff and School Admin

“Before entering the front doors of a school, there is little to no training afforded to school resource officers. Once they begin working in the schools, SROs receive a crash course in special education and not always good results. The learning curve can be long and confusing.” —School Safety Specialist and former SRO, Minnesota School Safety Center

Many school districts across the nation are utilizing School Resource Officers in school buildings. It is essential for law enforcement personnel to have a comprehensive understanding of the role of SROs, especially as it pertains to special education students. Equally important, School Administrators should understand the role of a SRO, and the constraints they have legally and by agency policy. This training will open with ideas for ways that School Resource Officers, Law Enforcement Command Staff and School Administrators can help foster a partnership together to build a culture of conflict resolution within schools and to have a better awareness of sensitivity to students with disabilities and other minority students.

Participants will start with an overview of the SRO position, selecting the right individual, managing, and evaluating the position and person from the police department and school district. The goal is to develop an understanding of the legal, and policy directives of a SRO, as they balance their law enforcement role within the schools. Additionally, attendees will gain an understanding for the development of a comprehensive mutual aid agreement between the police department and the school district. It will be important to have knowledge of common behavioral indicators of specific disabilities and know ways in which SRO’s can interact with and learn from school personnel and families to better address students with disabilities. The day will include an overview of relevant laws (idea, section 504 of the rehabilitation act, and the Americans with disabilities act), an overview of the qualifying disabilities identified by IDEA; additionally, descriptions of behavioral and social characteristics typical of each disability. Part of the conversation will discuss how important it is to understand functional behavioral assessments, behavioral intervention plans, and the limitations and regulations for seclusion and restraint use. Finally, goals and techniques in de-escalation, including how to use distance, non-verbal communication methods, how to talk with special education students, and principles of behavior change will be reviewed. By the end of the training attendees should be comfortable with the discipline process for children with disabilities, including limits on suspension and expulsion, manifestation meetings, alternative educational settings, and parental rights through the discipline process.

This critical training opportunity will be provided in Schulenburg at the Blinn College Campus, room 120 (100 Ranger Dr.) on both November 1 and November 2 from 8 AM – 4 PM. This is a one-day training, but there are two opportunities to allow for different department shifts to attend in a staggered fashion if necessary. The cost is $150 per attendee and lunch will be provided. There is on-line registration at https://www.turtlewingfoundation.org/texassrotraining or contact Susie Shank to receive a registration form at susie@turtlewingfoundation.org. Turtle Wing hopes to have participation of staff from all law enforcement departments and school districts in their service area, which includes Colorado, Fayette, Lavaca and surrounding counties. This training is open to a broader region, however. If attendees are willing to make the drive, they are encouraged to participate. This training is being provided at a discounted rate thanks to the generosity of Bigham Law Firm, Das Meyer Haus, and a grant from Union Pacific Foundation.

Turtle Wing Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization which helps children with academic, social-emotional, behavioral and/or developmental needs and provided Early Intervention and Supplemental Services to almost 300 children last year with thousands more being impacted by Community Education & Advocacy programming. The mission of Turtle Wing Foundation is helping individuals with learning challenges in rural areas achieve their full potential by providing access to a shared network of emotional, educational, and therapeutic resources. To learn more about Turtle Wing Foundation Like our Facebook page or call 979-505-5090.