Royal Gurley SRO Charlottesville High School

Charlottesville City Schools (CCS), under the feckless “leadership” of superintendent Royal Gurley, have become a dangerous place for students, faculty, and staff, alike.

Contrary to the best deceptive efforts of CCS and its media disinformation wing, several videos of massive, violent brawls at Charlottesville High School (CHS) have emerged, exposing perilous conditions at the school. These rare glimpses into everyday violence at CHS have forced a community discussion on the Division’s short-sighted, knee-jerk 2020 decision to remove School Resource Officers (aka police) from all of CCS.

A new “school safety” model was implemented in 2021 that cemented the CCS no-SRO policy and instead added eight “care and safety” monitors tasked with observing hallways and creating deeper relationships with students. Additionally, emotional support counselors and social workers were to be hired.

That move, motivated by institutional arrogance and racial virtue-signaling, has led to disastrous consequences, which have become specifically known because of the CHS fight-video releases and subsequent conversations:

The 2021 Safety Model was branded a “success” in 2022 newspaper puff-piece on the issue—but clearly, nothing was further from the truth.

Now, Dr. Gurley and his sycophant School Board are proposing another series of “possible updates” to the CCS Safety Model:

  • Using weapons detectors either at CHS sporting events and/or at CHS student arrival.
  • Further exploring the idea of adding “Youth Resource Officers” from the police department to our current safety model based on the public schools in Cambridge, MA. The question is, “Do we want to learn more about this model?”
  • Reconsidering the policy for student cellphones at CHS (not Buford). The question is, “Should high school students be allowed to use their phones between class periods and at lunch?”

The proposed implementation of “weapons detectors” at CHS is curious in that it contradicts the inference of Dr. Gurley’s emphatic, self-congratulatory statement about “no weapons” being involved in any of the series of recent CHS fights.

The gingerly named “‘Youth Resource Officers’ from the police department” scheme appears to be nothing more than a face-saving, rebranding effort to bring back SROs—without calling them SROs.

Interestingly, a 2021 CCS propaganda video touting the new Safety Model cites cherry-picked scholarly research that indicates on-site School Resource Officers do NOT “lead to better outcomes for day-to-day events or emergencies.”

Finally, the possible reversal of the CHS cellphone ban obliges the third strike-out of recent key policy implementations. Ostensibly enacted to prevent in-class distractions (a legitimate claim), the underlying purpose of the ban is to prevent embarrassing information (i.e. fight videos) from being captured and released to the public. That policy, as enacted, obviously has failed in its true objective, and instead has led to legitimate safety-related communications-access concerns among parents and students.

Through the illogical, ongoing defense of dangerous, indefensible “safety” policies, Dr. Gurley and his School Board minions have sacrificed the safety and wellbeing of Charlottesville City Schools students at the altar of equity. The opportunity exists now for CCS to change course and return to sanity, but ultimately, will Gurley et. al. have the fortitude and humility to actualize the obvious?




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