Important Information About School Resource Officers at ERHS and WHS
On Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, the City of Woodbury notified SoWashCo Schools that the City Council has decided to stop providing the services of an SRO at East Ridge and Woodbury high schools.
SoWashCo Schools' focus is on the safety and well-being of our students. We will continue to work with Woodbury Police to maintain a safe learning environment for students and staff.
On Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, the City of Woodbury notified South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools) that the City Council has decided to stop providing the services of a School Resource Officer (SRO) at East Ridge and Woodbury high schools.
SoWashCo Schools is grateful for the long history of partnership and collaboration with the Woodbury Police Department. We have worked hard to define the roles of our SROs within our school community. We value their work and want to thank our SROs for their service.
On Wednesday, Sept. 6, the Woodbury City Council met in closed session and decided to “suspend” the contract for an indefinite period of time. The city did not consult with SoWashCo Schools before making this decision and did not give SoWashCo Schools an opportunity to provide input or to offer potential solutions that would address any concerns.
The City of Woodbury is under a legally binding contract with SoWashCo Schools to provide SRO services through the end of this school year. The contract has been in place since 2009.
The Woodbury City Administrator, Public Safety Director and City Attorney informed SoWashCo Schools that the Council’s decision, which was made on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023, is based on a new law, which went into effect on Saturday, July 1, 2023. The new law prohibits an employee or agent of a school district, including an SRO, from using a physical hold that places pressure on a student’s sternum, abdomen or back unless the hold is necessary to prevent bodily harm or death to the student or to another person.
School officials are not aware of any situation in which an SRO used a physical hold at any school in the district during the 2022-2023 school year.
After receiving notice of the City Council’s decision, school officials asked the city to continue supplying SROs with an understanding that SROs would not be asked to physically intervene in any situation, and the school would immediately call 911. In making this request, school officials emphasized the importance of maintaining the positive relationship that students and staff have with the SROs who are currently assigned to East Ridge and Woodbury high schools. City officials replied that the Council had considered that option and rejected it during a closed session.
Our focus is on the safety and well-being of our students. We will continue to work with Woodbury Police to maintain a safe learning environment for students and staff. The Woodbury Police Department will continue to be the primary point of contact for safety issues at our Woodbury schools.
The South Washington County School Board has scheduled a special meeting, which will be held in the board room at the District Service Center, 7362 E. Point Douglas Road S., beginning at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14.
The purpose of the special meeting is to consider the Woodbury City Council’s action to suspend the contract, potential responses, legal advice from the school board’s attorney and options to help ensure the safety of students and staff who attend East Ridge and Woodbury high schools.
The Cottage Grove Police Department will continue to provide SRO services at Park High School
- East Ridge High School
- Woodbury High School