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School resource officers tackle common issues

The men and women who patrol your kids' schools and work to keep them safe are meeting this week in North Little Rock.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The men and women who patrol your kids' schools and work to keep them safe are meeting this week in North Little Rock.

School resource officers heard from one another on how to handle the problems most often seen in schools.

"Resource officers, if they are truly there for the right reasons and have the support and the training they need, can work miracles," said Richard Davies, ex-president of the Arkansas Safe Schools Association.

Davies said resource officers can be a lifesaver for schools. Having a sworn officer on campus can be intimidating for some, but Davies encourages SROs and students to get to know each other.

"If you're going to be a school resource officer, you need to want to be there. That's a calling in my book," Davies said.

But resource officers deal with more than just bad behavior.

"We can't let these labels define us," said Austin Armstrong, who battles with autism.

More students with autism are in our schools.  A report by the Arkansas Safe Schools Association shows one in ninety-three boys in the state is autistic.

"In elementary school, it was very tough making friends, understanding teachers, they would also make fun of me at times," Armstrong said.

Now resource officers have a dual role -- make students like austin feel comfortable and stop the bullying.  It's the reason why davies says more SROs are needed.

"They need to be there because the kids need them. The teachers need them. The administrators need them. It's just one of those things," Davies said.

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