The Use of School Resource Officers (SROs)
In Spring of 2016, a cross-agency work group of staff from the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Student Services/Prevention and Wellness and Special Education teams came together to discuss the use of school resource officers (SROs) in Wisconsin. In May 2016 and June 2017, DOJ and DPI brought together critical stakeholders to discuss the issues and determine what DOJ and DPI could do to support their work across Wisconsin. This website is intended to be a resource to support students, law enforcement, school staff, families, and educators across Wisconsin.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
DOJ and DPI strongly suggest that local education agencies (LEAs) and law enforcement articulate the roles and responsibilities of school resource officers and their respective organizations through MOUs. The DPI along with DOJ and the critical stakeholders developed a model framework to use to develop a MOU.
In order to have a successful school SRO experience, DOJ, DPI, and the stakeholders have a number of suggested guidelines for best practices. In some cases, agencies may want to build these into their MOU, or use them as a list for discussion when examining a SRO program.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Guidance
This resource provides answers to 37 commonly asked questions regarding School Resource Officers and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
DOJ and DPI strongly suggest that LEAs and law enforcement engage in high-quality training opportunities to ensure school resource officers, school staff, and educators are continually improving their practice related to school resource officers. Here are some training opportunities related to school resource officers in Wisconsin:
- The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and Justice (DOJ) SECURe Implementation Rubrics
- September 8, 2016 Dear Colleague Letter on Role of SROs in PK-12 Schools from the U.S. Department of Education (ED)
- U.S. DOJ’s 2013 Community Oriented Policing Services Memorandum of Understanding for FY2013 School-Based Partnerships
- National Association of School Resource Officers
- Wisconsin Juvenile Officers Association
- Utah Board of Juvenile Justice Disproportionate Minority Contact Evidence-Based, Best Practices Intervention Report (June 2014)
- Improving Memorandum of Understanding for School Resource Officer Services (by Kimberly Small, Assistant General Counsel, Illinois Association of School Boards, Lombard, IL)