Bentonville Students To Get New Resource Officer, Badges And Possibly Detention

BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — The Bentonville Board of Education discussed several items of interest on the Monday (March 12) agenda. Three key matters on the agenda include a school resource officer, new safety protocol and National Student Walkout Day.

During the education meeting, the board voted to approve another school resource officer for the school district.

Also discussed and voted on was the proposal to require ninth through 12th grade student to visibly wear identification badges. Tanya Sharp, executive director of student services, asked the board to vote on the recommendation. The recommendation passed unanimously.

The badges will cost the district about $40,000. Not only are badges factored into the cost, but lanyards are as well.

Another topic discussed was National Student Walkout Day happening Wednesday (March 14). Those affiliated with Bentonville schools were allowed to speak for or against the topic.

Board Secretary Rebecca Powers said the walkout would violate the district’s absentee and tardy policies.  Joe Quinn who is a board member said he doesn’t see an issue with the walkout, and is proud of students who want to stand up and speak out.

The other board members also contemplated the issue. The final vote was in favor, 4-3, to uphold district policy as it’s printed in the student handbook, which means any student who chooses to participate in the walkout at 10 a.m. Wednesday will be given an absent and assigned detention.

Leslee Wright, communications director for Bentonville Schools said, “We recognize the immeasurable loss suffered in Parkland as well as in other towns across the nation. The safety of our students is our top priority and we know the Bentonville Board of Education stands firmly behind us in that commitment. Monday night, after thoughtful discussion, the board voted to uphold school policy regarding unexcused absences and we respect that decision.”