Non-proft opposes police officers in Salinas High Schools

SALINAS, Calif. - A local non-profit wants the school board to keep police out of Salinas High Schools.

The group spoke at the Salinas Union High School District's board meeting Tuesday night.

The non-profit is called MILPA. Although school resource officers weren't on the agenda tonight, the group wanted to let the board know they don't want them in the schools.

School leaders will soon have to decide on whether to bring school resource officers of SRO's to four schools in the Salinas Union High School District.

The Salinas Police Department got a grant to pay for the officers and if they don't use the money, they lose it.

But non-profit MILPA is against the move.

"Many young people have been shoveled through the school to prison pipeline" said MILPA member Alexis Magdaleno. "Part of that contribution has been through the SRO's in our schools."

Magdaleno grew up in the Soledad Unified School District and had an SRO.

"It could have been somebody from the community," Magdaleno said. "Somebody who grew up amongst these people and they didn't have a gun, or they didn't hold a badge or they didn't have the power to arrest me."

There was no vote at Tuesday's meeting but, with the grant expiring, the board will have to vote soon.

Magdaleno hopes they look at other options.

"We can see more culturally competent mentors, mental health counselors, teachers who can really guide young people and not criminalize them," Magdaleno said.

Police Chief Adele Fresé spoke with KION late Tuesday evening giving this statement:

"I don't think that that small group of folks that I have been hearing from indirectly who oppose SRO's speak for the entire community. And I have been told that numerous times as I go about the city and talk with different people."

Since the SRO topic was not on the agenda tonight, the district superintendent did not wish to speak.

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