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Shawmont Parents Protest to Restore School Officer

Rally planned for March 1 at the elementary school.

Parents from the Home and School Association have their plan plotted.

Elementary school parents refused to accept the transfer of their school police officer without a fight and announced a protest next week after school.

HSA Co-President Janet McHale said Thursday parents and residents will gather at Shawmont schoolyard March 1 at 4:30 p.m. after school.

On the protest flyer, the HSA said, "Let's show the School Reform Commission and the local, state and federal politicians that we care about our Shawmont Family!"

In January, the transferred Officer Jannifer Downing from Shawmont to a Kensington school. Patrol at Shawmont was changed to roving school officers and . The district cited financial hardships and reasoned Downing would be better used in the more dangerous neighborhood.

Parents opposed the latest budget move, saying Downing's presence kept incidents in check at Shawmont and that the officer had great relationships with students.

On Feb. 14, the HSA held an emergency meeting to formulate a plan. were on hand to see parents weigh the merits of a petition, student walkout or other options.

McHale announced the protest Thursday and encouraged participants to "bring signs and your loudest voices."

For more information on the HSA, click here.

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