Massachusetts police halt 'High Five Friday' after concerns from parents

Students in Northampton used to begin Friday mornings with high fives and fist bumps from local police officers, but because of concerns from parents that program has been halted.

The “High Five Friday” program aimed to bring uniformed police officers to the city’s elementary schools on Fridays to welcome students to school. The idea for the program began after a law enforcement conference in San Diego, in which High Five Fridays were promoted as a way for officers to engage with young people, WWLP reported.

Northampton police said they received a lot of support for the program from the public, but there were also numerous concerns.

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During a school committee meeting, concerns were raised that not all children would feel comfortable with a police presence at the beginning of the school day. Others started to question the long-term impacts of the program and wondered if the program was valuable.

After the meeting, police were asked to pause the program, which they did.