The Orangeburg County School District is seeking a grant to add six additional school resource officers in the district.
The S.C. Department of Public Safety school resource officer program grant money would pay for training and equipping school resource officers, OCSD Director of Student Services Hayward Jean said.
The period of the grant would be from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2022. The grant application is due Oct. 29. Jean said the grant is being prepared in partnership with the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office.
“This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship we already have, but also an opportunity to provide SROs in high-need areas,” Jean said.
The SCDPS Office of Highway Safety and Justice will administer the program.
The funds are being provided through a transfer of funds from the South Carolina Department of Education to the SCDPS as part of the 2021-2022 State Appropriations Act.
“We are very hopeful to submit for this program,” Jean said. “We are going to submit before the deadline and we are already on target.”
The grant opportunities will be recurring, meaning the district could apply for the grant in future years.
The effort to add school resource officers comes after an August shooting at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School that left three students injured.
The district has also produced a video in conjunction with the sheriff’s office aimed to educate students about the consequences of participating in violent acts against school officials or school property.
School officials say people have been challenging others on TikTok to steal or destroy classroom property and, in some cases, assault a teacher. The district has encouraged students to write their teachers to thank them instead.