NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There’s debate over whether or not to have school resource officers at Metro Nashville Public Schools.

MNPS Director Dr. Adrienne Battle has previously defended not putting SROs in elementary schools, citing concerns about criminalizing childhood behavior.

During Wednesday night’s meeting, both Battle and Metro police stressed that school resource officers in middle and high schools are not there to arrest students.

MNPS told News 2 they are working with Metro police to have officers outside of elementary schools and use safety ambassadors to make sure school’s are following safety protocols.

The Covenant School shooting is still fresh on the minds of both parents and students. A parent explained how their elementary school student knows that kids their age were hurt and killed, but doesn’t completely understand why it happened.

“He just knows that kids his age are shot and killed, and that’s scary for a kid to not know why that happened so close to home,” Natashia Medina said.

National Association of School Resource Officers Executive Director Mo Canady believes it’s important for all school resource officers to have a strong connection with their school’s community. Their goal is to establish trust and build safety.

“Through those positive relationships, they have someone they can share information with,” Canady said.

To learn about the difference between school resource officers and school security officers, click here.