Deputy Amy Caviston engages with students; Community responds to first female Student Resource Officer

KRIS GRAY, News Editor

   North Harford High School (NHHS) welcomed a new Student Resource Officer on Monday, April fourth. This is Deputy Amy Caviston’s first time as a SRO and she claims to be dedicated to having “a relationship with [students] and [is] here to help [students] more than anything else.”

     On Caviston’s first days, she noticed “that a lot of [students] avoided eye contact with [her]”. Despite this, the Deputy wants to make sure students “have a quiet and comfortable learning environment”. She understands that “[students] are in a stage of [their] life where the police aren’t necessarily people [they] want to be friends with” but she discourages this idea by saying, “I don’t feel like I am that imposing.”

      The SRO continues, “I am not here to get you guys in trouble or create an uncomfortable presence, I am here for you guys to ask questions, to guide you in the right direction and things of that nature.” Sophomore Kayla Doll supports Caviston and disagrees with the social norm that “guys are supposed to be the protectors and are considered stronger than women”. Doll believes that Caviston taking this position “is amazing and will help people realize ‘Wow, females can do it too.”

     Caviston “feels really good that girls are feeling comfortable” with her and that “girls have somebody here that maybe they can come and talk to about things they may not have been comfortable talking to a male about.”

     The previous SRO, Deputy J.J. Norman explains his separation from NHHS, “When I first became a SRO, I kinda wanted to do Elementary school anyway.” There were no available spots open at that time, so according to Norman, he was offered the spot here at NHHS. In March, “a spot recently came open at [North Harford Elementary School],” and he was determined to “take the opportunity when it came.”

     Deputy Norman ends his experience at NHHS on a good note, “I love North Harford, I love the students here, I love the staff here, [and]  I’ve had a great experience.

          Prevent School Violence states that “a SRO program is one part of a comprehensive and coordinated approach to school safety that depends on balanced and multi-faceted programming, strong school-law enforcement-community stakeholder communication, fostering connectedness within the school community, and providing supports for at-risk students.”

     Freshman McKenna-Mae Slavin is thrilled that NHHS has a female law enforcer. Slavin feels “a lot more comfortable going to [Caviston] with sensitive topics like sexual assault” rather than a male. As a female student, she would also be more tolerant “with searching.” Lastly, “seeing a woman take on that kind of role makes me think I can do it” and other girls too.