Antelope Valley school district renews contract with LASD despite opposition

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- The Antelope Valley Union High School District voted to retain its contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to keep school resources officers on campus.

The vote renewing the contract comes despite some other school districts and even universities across the country electing to cut back or scrap having law enforcement on school campuses.

L.A. County sheriff's Deputy Justin Ruppert says the department is excited to renew the contract with the school district.

He says there's been a lot of negative misinformation about the role of resource officers on campuses. He says officers are on school campuses to provide a positive impact on students' lives.

The U.S. Department of Justice says school resource officers could prevent school shootings.

The DOJ released a report last year saying, "School resource officers or SROs may have a profound impact on the school's ability to prevent targeted violence and other maladaptive behaviors."

Raquel Derfler is a member of a group called Cancel the Contract, which is echoing a rallying cry shared by other community activist organizations calling for police to be removed from school campuses.

She argues for many Black and brown students, resource officers are perceived as more of a threat than a help.

"For them school is just one more place where they are targeted based on the color of their skin," Derfler says.

Activist Ayinde Love argues against the need for school resource officers on campus. He says it has a negative impact, primarily on students of color.

Lancaster High School student Nick Sanchez disagrees with policing on campus.

Sanchez says the money spent on the contract - more than $1 million - could be better spent on more school activities and more for students.

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