Redic: presence of school cop stopped mass killing – now Senate bill would ban them

By Guy Page

The presence of a School Resource Officer deterred Jack Sawyer from carrying out his planned 2018 Valentine’ Day weekend mass shooting at Fair Haven Union High School, the school’s superintendent tells Ericka Redic on the latest episode of the Ericka Redic Show.

Vermont Senate bill 63 would prohibit school districts from hiring SROs, who are armed police officers trained and assigned to work in schools. The presence of SROs leads to unacceptably high arrests – particularly of minorities – and feeds the “school-to-prison pipeline,” say its authors, Sens. Alison Clarkson (D-Windsor), Ruth Hardy (D-Addison), Chris Pearson (D/P Chittenden), and Anthony Pollina (P-Washington). 

Ericka Redic reports that the presence of a school resource officer deterred Jack Sawyer (above) from carrying out his planned mass shooting at Fair Haven Union High School in 2018. Sawyer is scheduled for release this year.

“The school resource officer in the case of the Jack Sawyer incident was one of the only deterrents in his alleged shooting plot at the Fair Haven Union High School,” Slate Valley Unified School District Supt. Brooke Olsen-Farrell says at the 15 minute, two second mark.  

“When a bill incomes forth that potentially could prohibit that individual [SRO] from serving in our school district, it really hits close to home and produces a lot of anxiety for our teachers, our staff and our community. Some of our teachers and staff feel safe coming here knowing there is a school resource officer.”

Redic then adds: “In the young man’s journal, he details the fact that one of the main reasons he hadn’t yet carried out his intention was because of your SRO. He couldnt figure out how to get around that roadblock.”

“Absolutely,” Olsen-Farrell replies. She concedes the possibility that elsewhere in the nation the SRO system may have problems, but adds, “our data tells us a much different story.” Attempts to prohibit an SRO “are really difficult to swallow,” she said. 

The fear produced by the Sawyer incident was immediate and remains to this day – especially because Sawyer, sentenced as a youthful offender, turns 22 this year and is scheduled to be set free. 

“What is 2021 going to be….what is the unknown?” Olsen-Farrell said. “The prohibition on an SRO could be untenable for some of our staff and students.”

Ericka Redic interviews the superintendent of the Fair Haven Union High School, target of Jack Sawyer’s planned mass killing

Redic noted an apparent shift in legislative priorities since the aftermath of the Sawyer incident. 

“Vermonters were horrified when one of our high schools was nearly the victim of another mass shooting of children. The Vermont Legislature reacted swiftly. Legislation that included controversial firearms restrictions was quickly drafted.  Lawmakers and Gov. Phil Scott both said in the aftermath of the Fair Haven scare that nothing was more important than the safety and wellbeing of our children.”

However, another Senate bill would prevent the prohibition of SROs and provide $1 million more in funding. Redic interviews Sen. Josh Terenzini (R-Rutland), the lead sponsor of S76

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Burlington resident Redic, also an accountant, improv comedian, and 2020 candidate for the Vermont Senate, has trained as a news announcer in Los Angeles. Her husband Ben is a cinemaphotographer and fight choreographer. They are the two-person team behind “Generally Irritable,” a Facebook video series focusing on Burlington and Vermont problems and solutions. See past episodes of the Ericka Redic Show here. 

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8 replies »

  1. Well, OF COURSE the VT legislature is in favor of banning law enforcement personnel! The defund the police movement is ALL about the continuation of making what is right, wrong and making what is good, bad – and vice versa!

    Here’s the key concept to remember VT legislators: Police PREVENT crime, and criminals COMMIT crime. Once you somehow get that straight in your extremist minds, you may be able to better clearly comprehend this entire situation.

    LOOK at what these ideologies and subsequent related policies have done to BURLINGTON alone!

    STOP ruining Vermont and wiping out our culture! Culture is NOT “bad”. It exists and persists throughout the world and always has.

    PLEASE, put down your bongs & clear your minds, people. You are taking a massive wrecking ball to this state.

    • I’m sure that police make mistakes and even commit crimes. George Floyd is an example. The analysis of what may be done to address the nationwide problem is not in place here.
      A few years ago, former friend, Marina Brown, and I attended a meeting at a high school in Rutland. Note that Marina Brown is transwoman who ran for Treasurer, or Assistant Treasurer, back in, I believe, 2016.A teenager from another school had come to a dance for students and problems has ensued, The police were called and escorted the young man off the property. That was that.
      At the meeting a number of people spoke. I felt it a lot of trouble over nothing. What I learned from it all jibes with what I’m now aware of are Marina Brown’s actual ideas which happen to be those of an entire movement in VT and this country. Whatever happens, police are wrong. There should be no reform, simply eliminate police. Thus when Antifa, etc., escalate violence in the cities of this nation, there will be less opposition. This is a threat which is much graver than it appears. I have quite some direct knowledge. Although not allowed to finish the 9th Grade, due to Invisible Disability, I have some experience of left politics. I particularly read History. There is too much to explain here. But it is worse than it seems. I believed in Antifa until the looting. I had been unaware of what is really going on. But it is widespread. Some of what is happening in VT seems like a cheap movie, but is all too real.

  2. More “common sense” regulations from the party that would not know common sense if it emblazoned in blinking neon on their foreheads !

  3. are the School Boards and administrators AFRAID of the Resource Officers. The Resource OFFICERS are are a BRIDGE between students and teachers.

  4. Clearly the blood of any murdered child in school is on the hands of these legislators.

  5. When demoKKKrats are in charge, the accepted norm is to teach schoolkids that the police are a threat to their wellbeing, especially if they are students “of Color”. This is now supposed to be accepted without debate, unless one wants to be branded a racist.
    We must keep in mind the threats made by Jack Sawyer did not culminate in any actual violent attack, but there were thousands of real victims: law-abiding Vermonters who value their rights to lawful self defense. The shameful over-reaction by the Legislature AND the Governor stand in stark contrast to the absolute lack of any meaningful sanctions against the actual person who made the threats. This entire Country understandably gets into a tizzyfit every time there is an incident of mass violence in a school, and the last major one resulted in a widespread call for every school to have a “resource officer” to present at least some level of deterrence. Now our racial-hypersensitivity dictates that since the sight of a uniformed police officer justifiably makes people of some ethnic groups nervous, we must remove that protection from the entire school. Liberal logic and sense of priorities defies all explanation. The predicted outcome is obviously that since we could protect schools with police, just like we do everywhere else, but since that makes some students and staff uncomfortable, the only alternative is to disarm the populace. Elections have consequences.

  6. Clarkson, Hardy, Pearson and Pollina have no valid argument or justification for their bill, other than their own fears and lack of knowledge. The facts of the Fairhaven incident bear out the positive results of an SRO. School to Prison pipeline? Another unprovable allegation to sustain a talking point. I’ll wager SRO’s reduce delinquency, not increase it. Vermont has a large majority of really good police and the ones chosen for SRO’s have the additional training and skill to deal professionally with kids. SRO’s are an asset to a school.
    I’m open to being proven wrong, but leave catch phrases like “systemic racism” out of your argument. The current fervor to cast police as the “enemy” and “racist” is more race baiting by
    a minority of liberal thinkers. Don’t be drawn in by it.

  7. C’mon Man ! We’re going to ban all the guns and all the criminals are going to obey the laws, that’s why you won’t need school resource officers. Joe@3033 I Don’t Know.

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