RALEIGH, NC – Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes is inviting the public to engage in a community conversation on the school-to-prison pipeline and school safety. In response to a recent viral video incident involving a School Resource Officer at Rolesville High School, Holmes plans to convene a public discussion spearheaded by a bipartisan panel of community leaders.
Holmes wants to bring law enforcement officers, educators, parents, students and community leaders together to discuss best practices to ensure a safe learning environment while addressing the concerns about the school-to-prison pipeline.
The school-to-prison pipeline is a national trend wherein students go from the classroom directly into the criminal justice system. This trend can be particularly perilous in North Carolina as we are only 1 of 2 states in the country to prosecute 16- and 17-year olds as adults. The school-to-prison pipeline is not just a national problem but one that impacts Wake County schools as well.
Many students who end up in the pipeline have learning disabilities or have to overcome the challenges of poverty such as food insecurity, neglect and sometimes even homelessness. They could benefit from additional educational and counseling services. In other words, they would certainly be better served by our school system rather than the criminal justice system.
A recent viral video of an encounter between a school resource officer and student at Rolesville High School has revived the debate on the role of school resource officers and how to best ensure a safe learning environment for our students and educators.
“No matter who you are, you want your children to get the best education in the safest environment,” said Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles. “We just need to decide as a community how to best create that environment.”
The Community Conversation will feature a bipartisan panel moderated by former NC Teacher of the Year James Ford that will include:
- Frank Eagles – Mayor of Rolesville
- Craig Croom – Wake County Juvenile Court Judge
- Donnie Harrison – Wake County Sheriff
- Jessica Holmes – Wake County Commissioner
- Monika Johnson-Hostler – Chairwoman Wake County School Board
The community conversation will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Rolesville Town Hall, located at 502 Southtown Circle, Rolesville, NC 27517.