Yesterday a heated debate ensued over the subject of police officers in schools. I became angry. I don't want to refuel the fire so to speak. I would like to take a few lines to bring up some things that I have seen in the school that I have been assigned to. It's been interesting to say the least. Let me give ya some history as to why I have this current but temporary assignment. I don't think I can continue to eat school lunches much longer (LOL). A few of us were assigned here in reaction (as usual, reactive police work, not proactive) to a large gang and narcotic problem. So far, it seems that we have done a good job of quieting this place down. Our schools all have one or more police officer assigned to them beginning at the Jr High/Middle School level. However, sometimes the assigned officer simply has too many irons in the fire at on time to handle everything that comes his way during the course of a day. I have a great respect for campus officers. They are first and foremost an LEO. They also have to be a mentor, counselor, shoulder to cry on, a teacher, a coach, and a friend or foe to the students. That's a lot of different hats to wear in one day. You have to be able to "turn it on, and then turn it off....." So to speak. I have noticed good and bad things about this little cross section of the American educational system. This school is still saying the pledge, and let me tell you, they still say "Under God!" I was happy to hear that. I was amazed at the lack of classroom control however. I've only been out of high school ten years, approx. Things have changed. If I had cussed at a teacher, she would have grabbed me by the ear and taken me to the office. The principal would have worn my butt out, and then turned me over to my fotball coach, who would in turn run me into the ground. Then of course, there were my folks waiting at home to ground me until the rapture, and probably wear my tail end out again. I'm a 26 y/o policeman, and my mother still has no problem slapping me upside the head when I say something I shouldn't. My father has no problem reminding me daily that even though he's in his fifties, has plastic joints all over his body, he's still a Ranger (Ret.), and he will fly down here and whip my butt into shape in a heartbeat (Hooah!). Ya know what, i believe him to this day (LOL)! The kids in this school don't have that. This is the ghetto. Inner city San Antone at it's best. Most of the parents are in the joint, if the kids even know who their real parents are. The kids have no vision of life beyond the southside. One student was causing a lot of trouble the other day. After handling the problem I sat him down and talked to him. He was amazed that I even wanted to know about him in the first place. Once he opened up, I learned that he was going to be a starter for the first time in the football game that night. He badly wanted his dad to be there to see him. However, his father was placed on an ankle monitor the day before and could not leave the house. The kid was broken hearted, and therfore, acting out. Not a justification, but his behavior suddenly had an identifiable cause behind it. I ended up going to the game to watch him. He about fell over backwards when he saw me on the sidelines with my wife, watching him. My wife is a photographer by hobby. She took a roll of pics of him throughout the game. We had them developed, and gave them to him. He couldn't wait for his dad to see them. It would be as close to the game as his father would be able to get. I made a little friend that day (and the best informant I've ever had! LOL). The kid won't forget me for a long time, I'm sure of that. When I received this assignment, I rolled my eyes, "Oh Lord, Kindergarden Cop!" I had no idea how rewarding it would be. We have to do our job, be hard as$es, but I've definitely seen another side of police work that I did not know existed. I was amazed to see that the same exact crime that we have on the streets exists in our schools. Domestics, assaults, theft, sexual assault, DWI, weapons charges, dope, you name it. It's here, and I would venture to say that it's not just in the barrio. It infiltrates every cross section of our educational system.......... Would like to hear Oxford's thoughts on this, and any other educator out there. Thanks for what ya do, it's an often thankless job.