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Mom Wary of School Police, Removes Child

October 23, 1998|NANCY FORREST

Alarmed by the school district's decision to station armed police officers in high schools, a woman on Thursday pulled her daughter out of Buena High.

School officials said the mother's concern is unwarranted and that the officers are meant to help students, not serve as "enforcers."

Cheryl Mattley, a single mother of five, said she may also remove her son from Pacific High, one of the district's two continuation schools.

She said she doesn't know which schools her children will attend.

Mattley said the officers may compromise safety by prompting students who feel threatened to bring guns to school.

"These police officers believe that they can deal with these students by intimidation and it is not going to work," Mattley said.

District officials said her fear is unfounded. "The purpose of the school resource officers is not to be a security guard but to serve as a resource, to offer counseling and as a trouble-shooter--not to intimidate," said district Supt. Joseph Spirito.

He offered to meet with Mattley and any other parent who has concerns about the program.

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