In 2020, right in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer just across the border from us, our school got a new SRO who was interested in meeting all of the classes in our school. I asked my grade 6 students if they were interested and comfortable with inviting the officer into our class and they decided they were. She came in and read a story to the kids before asking if they had any questions for her, at which point one student asked how she felt about what was happening in the US regarding Floyd and what the WPS were doing to make sure similar things didn't happen here. Her response was that it was bad what happened to Floyd, but that she was also really concerned that now people were judging her and other police by the colour of their uniform. That people were now wary of police and that she was sometimes treated differently when people found out her profession. In response to a question about the killing of an unarmed black man and the problem of institutionalized racism, she went on at length about the hardship she faced as an officer. What kind of message is that to send to young middle schoolers wanting to know how their police plan to keep minorities in our community (and who made up a majority of our class) safe? She was never invited back to our class.


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