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RANKIN (KDKA) — The Woodland Hills School Board voted Thursday to contract with the Churchill and Rankin Police departments to provide school resource officers to the district’s high school and Rankin Promise Alternative School.
Many parents at the meeting were upset, even outraged, demanding accountability and answers from board members and administrators.
But new superintendent, James Harris, told the crowd it’s not about the past, but the future.
“The community has every right to be upset about what happened in the past,” Harris told KDKA. “But the high school discipline will be handled by the administration at the high school and not handed over to the police. The police are assisting.”
Harris said there will be new police officers stationed at the buildings and a new protocol.
“The community has to realize, we’re doing a reboot. Dr. Woods and I will not tolerate any abuse to our students,” Harris said.
The district made national news after videos of violent incidents between police, administration, and students were made public. There was even a federal civil rights lawsuit filed.
“You can’t give them a few hours a day when there’s no police threatening them? Not even a few? That is your job. You should be ashamed of yourselves,” said one parent.
The officers will wear khakis and polo shirts. They will carry a sidearm, but will not carry a taser. Two officers will be at the high school on Monday when students return to class. There will be at least one stationed at the Rankin alternative building.