School Safety Cited in Proposal for Eight New SROs

The Giles County Board of Education and Sheriff’s Department will ask the county commission to fund eight School Resource Officers in addition to the two already assigned to the county’s high schools.


The proposal would provide one SRO at each elementary and middle school in Giles County and two SROs each at Giles County High School and Richland School.


Sheriff Kyle Helton spoke at last week’s school board meeting to support the effort.


“School safety has received a lot of attention lately,” said Helton, who was an SRO before becoming sheriff. “Mr. Wright knows the value and importance of the SROs in the school system. The most important thing to remember is we will never know what we keep from happening.”


Director of Schools Phillip Wright said he believes student safety is one of the most important aspects of the school system.


“It’s more than the protection of the school,” Wright said. “SROs build trust with students and provide law enforcement education. It’s really important to have good SROs.”


Wright said the cost of the SROs under the proposal would be split equally between the school system and sheriff’s department.


Wright said principals at all schools have reviewed their safety plans and the district safety committee is holding meetings as well.


Wright estimated the cost of eight new SROs at $458,000 and stressed that the county commission would have to approve the funding for the SROs.


“You can’t put a price on the head of a child,” School Board Chairman Richie Brewer said. “There is no amount of money that a child’s life is worth.


“I don’t know how anyone can be against having somebody there ready to take on a person coming into the school to commit an egregious act. This may be the most important thing we do right now. I can’t imagine this vote not being 21-0 in favor of adding the SROs.”


Other board members agreed as the vote to send the proposal for eight SROs to the county commission passed unanimously.


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