Police Officers in front of Forest High School in Florida. Photo: Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Scot Peterson, the school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has been reflecting on what more he could've done to stop the shooting that killed 17 people, per the Washington Post, after choosing to call for backup instead of running into the building.

Be smart: Student resource officers are supposed to help keep schools safer; but, like in Peterson's case, sometimes they can only do so much.

How can they say I did nothing?

Peterson said he locked down the school, cleared students out to safety, and called for backup. He just didn't go in the building.

The big picture

More than 400 students have been killed in 200 school shootings since Sandy Hook in 2012, per the New York Times. Meanwhile, the answer to school shootings has traditionally been to increase police presence.

By the numbers:

  • In 1975, just 1% of the nation's schools had resource officers, according to a report from the ACLU.
  • In 2018, that number is up to 42% in high schools and 24% in middle schools.

Yes, but: Despite the higher percentages, school shootings are still taking place with frightening frequency, and school resource officers aren't always able to prevent them.

The details

The first student resource officer program dates back to 1953 in Flint, Michigan, where officers were hired to build rapports with students. But theit roles have since evolved:

  • Mac Hardy, the director of operations for the National Association of School Resource Officers, tells Axios that officers are typically taught to operate as law enforcement officers, educators on security, and an informal counselors to students, parents and teachers — all at once.

Part of the solution is to be preventative, Hardy said, and be proactive in finding the students that could pose as a danger to the rest of their classmates.

  • For that to happen, says Hardy, students and the community must trust their resource officers — but that's not always the case due to disproportionate discipline.

The bottom line: School resource officers help maintain law and order in schools, but they aren't the solution to the nation's mass shooting epidemic.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
39 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Oil's turbulent long-term future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The oil sector is facing risks from all sides.

Why it matters: Risk in the industry is nothing new. But these are especially turbulent and uncertain times. The industry's market clout has waned, the future of demand is kind of a mystery, and future U.S. policy is too, just to name three.

Meadows on Wray's voter fraud dismissal: "He has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI"

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows dismissed FBI Director Chris Wray's testimony that the U.S. has never historically seen evidence of widespread voter fraud, including by mail, during an appearance on "CBS This Morning" on Friday.

Why it matters: Meadows' statement highlights the Trump administration's strategy to sow doubt in November's election results by challenging the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, which are expected to skew heavily in Democrats' favor.

The next cliff for the unemployed

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A program supporting Americans who are typically ineligible for unemployment benefits will expire at the end of the year, with millions still relying on it as the labor market sputters.

Why it matters: The result could be catastrophic for the economic recovery that Wall Street fears is already fragile.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!