School Resource Officers (SRO) play a very important part in students’ lives whether they know it or not. They stand in the gap between what can be harmful to students from outside and within. A student can go to them for help. SROs possess eyes to see the problem, ears to listen when needed, and a willingness to help.
Officer Selma Brent is Colleton Preparatory Academy’s SRO. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama Officer Brent came to Colleton County to help his wife’s older parents with their property, and they have lived here about 15 years. Prior to coming to Colleton County, Brent trained and worked as paramilitary in other countries for approximately 20 years. The private security company he now works for was looking for someone to do security at CPA and Brent had the qualifications. Now, a year and a half later, Officer Brent is a fixture at CPA. He notes the biggest change in the job is the technology that is now available. When Brent first started in the SRO field, there was no social media.
He dislikes how easily kids can anonymously bully someone. It is why he finds it so important to make that personal connection with the kids. Brent does not just sit behind a desk and look at security camera monitors. He will more often be found walking the campus and buildings interacting with students and staff as he makes his rounds. There are high fives to be given at drop off, jokes to be shared along with a smile and laughter. He works to learn each students’ name. Brent recalls a story when he called a lower school young lady by the wrong name. The little girl fretted about it all morning because she wanted Officer Brent to know her name. She told him too. Of course, he apologized, and it’s fair to say he will probably never call her by the wrong name again. Brent likes that, however. He likes the students keep him on his toes, and he laughs when he comments they will call him out on things. It is obvious Officer Brent cares about the kids at his school. He frowns a bit when he talks about the challenges the kids face like, bullying, peer pressure, and just finding their way socially. Generally though, he smiles when talking about students.
Thank you, School Resource Officer Selma Brent, for all you do for the students of Colleton Preparatory Academy.