Sheriff comments on deputy's role in Russ. Co. schools
RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor didn't want to voice any opinions on the viral video circulating the internet of a school resource officer in South Carolina arresting a student, because he says he doesn't know all the facts.
Taylor did however stress the fact that school resource officers in his county are there for serious situations, not to enforce classroom discipline.
"Commenting on something that you see a portion of on video is just not my style," said Taylor.
Taylor did however dive into the policy he has for those in uniform protecting schools in Russell County.
"The school system has to control their own class, and I don't think our schools want our deputies to handle every discipline problem that comes up because at that point, then the students don't respect anybody or any authority but the deputy," said Taylor.
One school resource officer gained county-wide praise last month as his persistent digging lead to the discovery of a student bringing a gun to Russell County High School. Sheriff Taylor explains situations like these are why officers are in schools to begin with.
He explains just last week a student in the county disrupted their class by cursing and getting what teachers called "out of control," but the situation was not handled by an officer.
"We didn't get involved and have to put cuffs on a child who may not have broken the law, and that's what everybody's concerned about is what are we doing if it's not a violation of law," said Taylor.
When it comes to laying hands on a child, Taylor says every situation would be evaluated on a case to case basis but believes his deputies would only do so if a serious threat and danger was present. Sheriff Taylor also says school resource officers are needed safety measures for schools in light of recent dangers like school shootings.
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