Highlights of the 11/16 Safe and Successful Kids Interlocal Meeting

The Safe and Successful Kids (SSK) Interlocal Board, composed of members from both the Lincoln Board of Education and the City of Lincoln, held their regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at the City/County Building. The purpose of the meeting was to review the School Resource Officer Program and School Perception and Discipline Data Reports. 

This is the second year of gathering data based on the goals and expectations established by the 2018 Memorandum of Understanding for the SSK Interlocal Board. Even though considerable data has been collected and analyzed, the ability to base recommendations for action on this data is limited for two reasons:

  • Historical data was based on practices prior to the implementation of the original Memorandum of Understanding in 2018.
  • The last two years of data do not accurately reflect regular and full attendance or population at schools due to pandemic protocols and procedures implemented in middle and high schools during the 2019-20 and the 2020-21 school years.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • In 2020-21, generally administrators initiated the greatest percentage of referrals, followed by staff and students. This is due in part to training and practices that set up a communication chain of command that flows from staff or student to administrator who then works collaboratively with the SRO to determine what is a school discipline issue and what is of a serious safety concern.
  • Administrators and staff were also responsible for initiating 84% of the calls that resulted in a juvenile referral or citation.
  • In 2020-21, School Resource Officers initiated approximately 1% of referrals. Of the 1%, only 3% resulted in a juvenile referral or citation.
  • Assaults, narcotics offenses, disturbances, larcenies and serious property crimes make up 82% of the incidents that resulted in a juvenile referral or citation.
  • In 2020-21, SROs received an average of approximately 23 additional hours of training that included topics related to mental health, threat response, adolescent development, cultural awareness and de-escalation. 
  • LPD annually issues approximately 450 juvenile referrals for incidents that occur at a middle or high school. Of these, only approximately three to four students are lodge at the Youth Services Center. In 2020-21, no LPS students were lodged at the Youth Services Center for an incident that occurred at school. 
  • Student and parent responses on the 2021 Spring Perception Survey indicated that although the responses for the total group are generally positive, the biggest issues are fairness of rules, consistency in behavioral expectations across teachers and adult responses to bullying.

Staff provided two areas of recommendation supported by feedback from stakeholders, the data collected and best practices:

  • Robust and collaborative training programs for SROs and school administrators should continue to be provided to better ensure consistent standards for referrals and address issues of over representation.
  • Reviewing disparity data and assessing existing resources, gaps and opportunities at each of the five intercept points to identify opportunities to move from referral and expulsion to restorative and support programs.

The full 157-page report can be found on the website here.

Published: November 16, 2021, Updated: November 16, 2021