How safe are our schools? (copy)

School resource officer Jessica Godfroy walks the halls at Pittsfield High School in 2018. Godfroy is one of two officers who serve as SROs this year, under a newly signed memorandum of understanding between the school district and Police Department.

PITTSFIELD — Residents and candidates for local city offices plan to gather at Park Square late Friday afternoon to show their support for school resources officers in Pittsfield Public Schools.

The gathering, which is scheduled from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., comes after a school resource officer had to be called to Taconic High School to respond to a fight among students on Tuesday morning.

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That fight, which was posted in a video to YouTube, and the district response has reignited longstanding community tensions over whether school resource officers do more to improve school safety, or create a unwelcoming environment for students and families. 

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In a Facebook post for the event, organizers write that "SROs are not a cure-all, but they are an integral part to providing a safe environment for all students and faculty."

The Pittsfield Public School Committee voted 5-2 earlier this week to hold off on any substantial conversation about the school resource officers until an outside consultant can conduct a community survey on the subject. Superintendent Joseph Curtis said that he expects the result of that survey to be available in April or May.

Meg Britton-Mehlisch can be reached at mbritton@berkshireeagle.com or 413- 496-6149.