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District moves forward with plans to hire school security officer

Aug. 31, 2018 -- As part of Moravia Central School District’s renewed commitment to the social and emotional wellness of all students, the district plans to hire a full-time school security officer for the 2018-19 school year. The officer will be based at the middle/high school and float between that building and Millard Fillmore Elementary School.

The district originally planned to create a school resource officer (SRO) position through an agreement with the Village of Moravia, but after discussions with the village failed to produce a contract in late August, the district decided instead to hire the officer directly. The Board of Education plans to vote on the appointment at a special meeting scheduled for Sept. 4.

The job title might have changed, but the functionality remains the same: to serve as another trusted adult in the school community and to nurture that trust by being visible and interacting with students and developing relationships with them so they feel comfortable talking and confiding in him.

A state trooper previously worked in the district, but when the grant funding for that position went away several years ago, so did the SRO position.

As the number of school violence incidents has grown nationally, the Moravia community asked for the restoration of that extra level of protection and peace of mind that comes with having a safety officer based in a school community, Superintendent of Schools John Birmingham said. The district included funding for the position in its proposed 2018-19 budget, which passed with 82 percent voter approval.

“We’re in a different world now,” Mr. Birmingham said in a recent Parent Today story about school safety. “There is a heightened awareness that violence can occur anywhere and there is also an expectation that school is a place where a child should feel safe.”