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'Build that relationship' | School resource officer discusses importance of communicating with students

School resource officers and school administration have two very different jobs, but at the end of the day, they have one goal to keep students safe.

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Since the Mount Tabor High School shooting, several Triad schools have been placed on lockdown or have been the target of online threats.

A WS/FCS school resource officer (SRO) and principal discussed how they continue to protect students.

School resource officers and school administration have two very different jobs, but at the end of the day, they have one goal to keep students safe.

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"Build that relationship and you build that bridge," school resource officer Elmer Molina said.

Molina is the school resource officer at Walkertown High School. His goal every day is to establish a relationship with the kids.

"Build trust with them that way they can communicate with you when things are being difficult for them at home or at school they can reach out to you," Molina said.

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The communication doesn't just stop with students though. Brad Royal is the principal at Reagan High School. He said the relationships are important at the administration level, too.

"It's vital we work very closely together," Royal said. "I have always made it an important effort right out of the gate to make sure we have a good relationship because we're going to work very closely together, whether it's during the school day providing supervision and safety for our kids or at a sporting event in the evenings."

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Both admit tensions have been a little higher after the deadly shooting at Mount Tabor, but so is vigilance.

"Head on a swivel 24/7 when we're at the school," Molina said. "We're also actively communicating with the students. Do any of them have concerns, what's going on, what happened during the weekend, what happened last night, and stuff like that, so we always wanna be on top of that."

Molina also addressed recent threats and how they work to figure out if they are credible or not. He said they take every threat seriously and take every precaution necessary until they know for sure.