Some forty D.C. Metropolitan Police Officers who are School Resource Officers (SROs) within the D.C. Public Schools received training from the ACLU-DC and its partners in preparation for the upcoming school year. The training, the brainchild of Ed O’Brien (Shown, standing, in the photo), who serves as Chair of ACLU-DC’s Education Committee and Mary Beth Tinker, who serves as the Committee’s Co-Chair, is designed to prepare the SROs for positive and meaningful interaction with students. Those trained will cooperate with public school teachers in providing law related education classes within their respective schools. The goals are to increase civic participation by students; improve perception and communication between the SROs, students and teachers; and, ultimately, create safe school environments.

Joined by Street Law, Inc. SHAPPE, UDC Law School, the William Kellibrew Foundation and the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project at American University Law School, the ACLU-DC conducted a day-long session at the D.C. Police Academy. Armed with a detailed Manual in advance of the training, prepared by the Street Law Program, the SROs were presented with various scenarios and opportunities for role playing. In addition to O’Brien and Tinker, the trainers included Maryam Ahranjani, an Adjunct professor at American University Law School; Sarah Bardos, a student from the University of the District of Columbia Law School; Lieutenant Renato Caldwell of D.C. MPD; Kaitlin Dunne of the ACLU’s Fair discipline project; William C. Kellibrew IV, President of the Kellibrew Foundation; Caleb Medearis with the Marshall-Brennan Project at American University Law School; Cathy Reilly of SHAPPE; Inspector Steven A. Sund of the D.C. MPD; and Brandon Wallace, Executive Director of the Kellibrew Foundation.