Most parents would be surprised to find out how School Resource Officers (SRO’s) spend a majority of their time. As a part of our Digital Parenting Foundations event, we interviewed a local school resource officer, Officer Raul Cruz from the Cleveland Police Department. As a part of this discussion, we wanted to see how the job has changed due to technology.
Technology and The School Resource Officer
One of the most eye-opening statistics Office Cruz shared was how much technology has impacted the school. “At a minimum, 50% of the issues we deal with on a daily basis are technology related issues”. Officer Cruz mentioned cyberbullying, online impersonation, sexual predators, and inappropriate content through messaging as areas that SRO’s are dealing with on a regular basis. “In the past most of the issues we dealt with were between parents and students.”
As technology continues to become integrated within our schools, these online actions will continue to demand time from school resource officers, counselors, teachers, and administrators. For parents this should be concerning, because it is clear that your child doesn’t have to have access to a device to be either a victim or perpetrator in these online activities.
What Should Parents Do?
If you have a child in school, it is important that you ask them on a regular basis about whether they have encountered anything online that has made them feel unsafe or uncomfortable. This can even include content that they have been shown from other students’ devices. This conversation has the ability to mitigate some of the biggest dangers that middle school and high school students are facing when technology is so integrated into the culture.