History is important. As a teacher, administrator and school board member I worked with the police liaison program and monitored parts of it from its origin, until my retirement in 1997.

I was originally skeptical about the concept. The idea that cops would be effective peacemakers in public schools seemed at best questionable.

I was proven wrong. These peace officers helped kids with their homework, prevented fights from taking place in the schools and developed award programs for attendance, behavior and good grades.

They also taught the kids how to build a canoe in their shop class. Their award programs included a trip to the boundary waters and work programs in our national parks. One of these officers adopted one of our students who was in need of a home.

These are not exaggerated stories nor are they a hoax. In the trunk where I have keepsakes of my most treasured memories, I have copies of stories that were published by The Free Press detailing them.

I am confident the school board will review the concerns that have been asserted and find positive ways to address them. But during that process “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

Roger Stoufer

Mankato

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