To The Editor:
U.S. Senator, Chris Murphy, has introduced legislation into the U.S. Senate seeking to defund federal support for school resource officers. A school resource officer is a police officer assigned to work in collaboration with school administrators to provide a safe environment for students and staff.
For the past eight years, Senator Murphy has gone across Connecticut making promises of support for school resource officers and other trained professionals under the jurisdiction of local police departments. Now, Senator Murphy claims that eliminating school resource officers is a step towards eliminating systematic racism. Senator Murphy is simply playing politics. This is an issue about the safety of our children, not racism, and Senator Murphy’s bill will only weaken protection for our children.
Since state funding for local education is much greater than the federal funding, we must ensure that our State Senators and Representatives will stand up to Senator Murphy’s politics and commit to NOT defund school resource officers.
Dan DeBarba, the Republican candidate for State Representative, understands the purpose of school resource officers. DeBarba has strongly opposed Senator Murphy’s proposal. DeBarba wrote on Facebook, “These officers are there for one reason: To Protect Children.” He continued, “I believe that the residents of Woodbridge, Orange and Derby have a much better sense than Chris Murphy does of what is good for our children.”
It is important for Mary Welander, the Democrat candidate for State Representative, to take a position on this issue. Will she stand up to Chris Murphy like Dan DeBarba has? Will she put politics aside and make the same commitment that Dan DeBarba has already made? The voters of Derby, Orange and Woodbridge need to know.
Editor’s Note: This letter toes the line on our political policy that’s been in place for the past 8 years.