Should Security Officers Be Used In NOLA Schools? YES, If They Are Anything Like Officer Gross.
The presence of law enforcement within schools can perpetuate the school-to-prison pipeline and other inequities faced by inner-city schools that primarily serve black students. But if you are lucky enough to have the presence of a school guard like Officer Gross, then you have a precious gem on your hands and she’s worth highlighting as we celebrate Women’s History Month.
During Black History month, we spend so much time rallying around the contributions of African Americans present and past who have beautifully balanced both struggle and strength, so it’s important we keep the momentum going by transitioning into doing the same to acknowledge those women who both wipe the tears, but also push when needed in order to help us grow and just be good human beings.
Often overlooked, it can be quite the challenge to finesse the fine line between the law and love, but Officer Gross does a beautiful job of managing this at Abramson Sci Academy.
With a resume that includes a lengthy history of supporting individuals with psychiatric diagnoses, Officer Gross has made it her mission to do the work that requires love, working with the groups that need it most and she manages to do it with grace.
She is called, “Ma” by the students she’s supported most. When she is at work, you feel her energy. When she’s not at work, you feel her absence. Students ask for her and teachers do the same. This is all because of the consistency and kindness she puts into her work.
Working as a disciplinarian, especially as law enforcement, within a school often results in being labeled as the “bad guy,” but because she treats all kids she comes into contact with like her own, she operates with love. She’s tough when needed, but love is there nevertheless.
There has been a longstanding debate over whether or not school security hurts or helps schools and its students. But from what I have seen Officer Gross demonstrate throughout her years working within the New Orleans school system, a presence like hers is necessary. School security need to be able to do more than confiscate illegal items during bag searches and break up fights. They also need to simply just be good people.
Just as it is important for black students to see positive representation of black adults, it is important for them to witness law enforcement professionals with a positive and nurturing attitude that transcends the negative association of the blue shirt and badge.
Because she has demonstrated all these attributes and more, we shine a light on Officer Gross during Women’s History Month.