Cougar Connection

An Update from your Mankato East Administration Team

November 4, 2020

Community Discussion

Dear Cougar Families,

As we reflect on the events of this past summer, the conversation around police officers in schools is imperative. A school resource officer's role in the educational setting is significant when considering equity, safety, and the experiences of our students and families, especially for our students and families of color.

In December, the MAPS school board will take input gathered from conversations across the district and community at large about school resource officers. They will use this input to determine whether to renew the contract with the City of Mankato Department of Public Safety. This decision will impact our students.

It is incredibly important to bring our Mankato East school community together to honor our different voices and lived experiences in regards to the MAPS school resource officer program. We hope you will join us for a community discussion on Tuesday, November 10 from 5:30 pm- 7:00 pm at East High School in the Commons.

Event Details

What: Community discussion on the MAPS School Resource Officer Program

When: Tuesday, November 10

Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm

Where: Mankato East High School Commons

I want to engage, but I don't really know much about the School Resource Officer program....

Understanding that police in schools is a huge topic that encompasses years of historical and racial trauma, polarized political viewpoints, and serious concerns about safety, we will focus our conversation and the following information on the SRO program as pertains to MAPS.

Below are some facts about the SRO program at Mankato Public Schools.

What is the SRO Program at MAPS?

Mankato Area Public Schools currently has a contract with the city of Mankato Department of Public Safety to provide specially trained officers to partner with the school district in order to provide the following services:

  • Assist in providing a safe learning environment for all students
  • Build relationships with students and staff
  • Provide investigative law enforcement services (typically illegal substance)
  • Develop crime prevention programming
  • Provide relevant training and class instruction related to law topics
  • Transport students experiencing a mental health crisis
  • Be a positive role model
  • Assist in conflict resolution
  • Answer legal questions for students and staff

Which schools at MAPS have SROs?

Prairie Winds Middle School, West High School, and East High School have an SRO.

Why doesn't Dakota Meadows Middle School have an SRO?

Dakota Meadows Middle School is located in North Mankato. MAPS does not have a contract with the North Mankato Department of Public Safety.

Are SROs involved in student discipline?

School Resource Officers are not involved in any decision making regarding student discipline. All student discipline is managed by the school administrators. At times and at the request of school administrators, an SRO may investigate illegal activity that has happened on school property. These investigations are typically around drugs and alcohol and student safety.

What kind of training do SROs get to work with students?

MAPS school resource officers are carefully chosen based upon a rigorous vetting process. These officers are trained through the National Association of School Resource Officers. They are given specific training in de-escalation, mental health, crisis intervention, sex trafficking, harassment, bullying, cyber and social media issues, substance abuse, and active shooters.

Do MAPS SROs work with ICE?

MAPS School Resource Officers do not work with ICE or the Department of Immigration.

Are SROs required to be in uniform and armed?

Yes, the policy of the Mankato Department of Public Safety requires our SROs to wear their official uniform, including carrying their issued weapon.

Okay! I'm in, now what?

We are looking forward to a robust East school community conversation. Your voice matters. Plan to join us on November 10 at 5:30 pm here at East High School. If you plan to come, please RSVP to one of us at our email addresses below.