School Safety Starts With Preparedness

Press Release - The Wyoming Association of School Resource Officers hosted their annual Wyoming School Safety Conference at the Gillette College Tech Center on June 17-20.  The conference had 76 school resource officers and DARE officers, and Campbell County School District had 23 principals in attendance.  The conference had seven vendors: Motorola, Neves, Life R U Ready, Teachers Corner, Wild West Dogs, Buffalo Berry Yogurt, and New York Life.  The conference was hosted by Cyclone Drilling, Medicap Pharmacy, JoyGlobal, S and S Builders, Gillette College, Dr. Dave Beck, New York Life, Thunder Basin Ford, WASCOP, and Sulzer EMS.  Food was donated by Albersons, Alla La La Cupcakes, Smith’s Grocery, Breanna’s Bakery, and the Cheese House.

The conference was welcomed by Sheriff Bill Pownall, Councilman Kevin McGrath, and Cody Myers, the president of the WySRO.  Mr. Myers is a school resource officer from Riverton.  He served on the Wyoming Task Force for School Safety and presented to the legislature on its findings.  Mr. Myers is also a wresting coach at Riverton Middle School.  He is the outgoing state president and will be replaced by SRO Dale Buckley next year.  Officer Buckley works at Sage Valley Junior High.

The first speaker was Dr. Bernard James (pictured) from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.  Dr. James talked for seven hours on school law.  He lectures in America and Canada specializing in constitutional matters and serves as a constitutional law commentator for the national and local media.  Dr. James had over 800 PowerPoint slide, of which 20 were specific to Wyoming.  Dr. James stated that Wyoming was one of eleven states listed as a model state for purposes of exchanging confidential information between governmental agencies.  Dr. James cited Wyoming statute 14-6-203(g) (i) (v), which based on the Buckley amendment to FERPA, allows law enforcement and juvenile agencies or schools to exchange information concerning students.  According to Dr. James, FERPA was overturned by state law allowing multidisciplinary teams to exchange information between agencies and the schools.

Dr. James explained the new Supreme Court decisions on the 4th Amendment’s search and seizure.  Dr. James stated that students are naughtier at a younger age and that they are exposed to violent video games for hours on end that change the way the student views the world around him.  Dr. James stated that T.L.O. vs. New Jersey (1985) allows school personnel to search a student with a lower level of evidence based upon “reasonable suspicion.”  Principals are allowed to search students using reasonable suspicion as a part of maintaining school safety.

On Thursday, Jermaine “Tall Cop” Galloway from Boise, Idaho spoke to the conference.  Mr. Galloway has been involved in law enforcement for the last eleven years and specializes in underage drinking, drug and alcohol enforcement. He is 6 feet 9 inches tall and the tall cop says, “STOP. What you don’t know you can’t stop.” Galloway is nationally known and recognized in law enforcement for his work with young people.  Mr. Galloway presented numerous ways that students try to bring drugs or promote drugs in schools.  He had examples of clothing that have stash pockets in the hat, shorts, and even shoes.  Mr. Galloway displayed shirts with pro-drug logos and statements supporting the usage of drug. 

The conference was attended by Governor Matt Meade and Diana Enzi, the wife of Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY).  Senator Enzi was unable to attend but did a video presentation to the conference.  U.S. Senator Enzi thanked the organization for all the excellent work in keeping Wyoming schools safe and drug free.  The School Resource Officer (SRO) of the Year was Manny Fardella.  SRO Fardella works at Johnson Junior High in Cheyenne.

Lorrie Wnuk, from Casper, spoke to the conference on assessing school threats.  She works for the Natrona Sheriff’s office as a victim services coordinator.  Ms. Wnuk has worked with the Natrona County School District on school safety and threat assessments for school violence.  She informed the conference on low, medium, and high level threats to the schools.

The conference ended on Friday at noon.  The morning’s training was for law enforcement and trained law officers to be certified as air marshals.
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Topics : EducationLaw_Crime
Location : CaliforniaIdahoNew JerseyWyoming
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