Councilmember Zach Hilton has been very public in sharing his belief that school resource officers are detrimental to our schools. He recently retweeted a tweet blaming an SRO for not stopping a mass shooting from happening at Oxford High where four students were killed and seven others were injured.
However, what Councilmember Hilton failed to reveal is that the SRO at Oxford High actually kept kids safe. According to Rep. Gary Howell, R-North Branch, “The bravery and quick action of the SRO at Oxford High saved lives. Within minutes, he got to the perpetrator, who still had bullets in his magazine, disarmed and neutralized him. God only knows how many would have died without the action of that school resource officer.”
After the tragedy at Oxford High, the Michigan House of Representatives passed an amendment that increased state funding for SRO’s in their schools from $10 million to $50 million. Why? Because school resource officers are our children’s first line of defense against school shootings.
In a guest editorial published by the Gilroy Dispatch, Councilmember Hilton called for the removal of school resource officers from our schools. He claimed that there are “no facts or findings presented that show a school officer will be able to maintain a safe and secure campus for both students and staff.” The events at Oxford High prove otherwise. House Bill 5522 passed the House 97-3 this past Thursday in Michigan; it intends to draw people into the public safety field, including a last-minute multi-million dollar funding for SROs.
Councilmember Hilton’s recent tweet pointed out that the City of Gilroy and Gilroy Unified share a cost of $483,000 annually for SROs. I, for one, think it is well worth it.