SRO Brad Scrio strives to make an impact at SFM, MHE
Published on Wednesday, April 22, 2021
BCSD photo / Monica Kreber : Dep. Brad Scrio makes pink slime with a seventh-grade science class.
Dep. Brad Scrio happens to be a huge Marvel fan.
His office at Sedgefield Middle is covered with all sorts of Marvel paraphernalia – there are bobble head action figures on his desk. He had a birthday recently and the Sedgefield Middle staff gifted him with superhero-themed balloons. Behind his desk sits several cardboard cutouts of notable characters including Captain America, Thor, Black Panther and Ant Man.
Ant Man happens to be his favorite, because Ant Man has a felony background – yet he is a superhero.
“He’s kind of like Robin Hood, but at the same time, he’s got a good heart,” he said.
Scrio added that he uses such character traits as lessons for students to help them understand that different backgrounds do not matter: “The common theme with all of them (the heroes) is their desire to be good – to do good.”
Scrio has served as the school resource officer (SRO) for Sedgefield Middle and Mount Holly Elementary since the beginning of the school year, and he has worked for the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) for about a year and a half.
Scrio’s journey to becoming a SRO is a unique one – but one he took for the sole purpose of wanting to be in the schools, making a difference in children’s lives.
While he initially went to school to study criminal justice, becoming an SRO was actually a big career change for Scrio, who started working for a logistics company out of Washington, D.C. in 2005. His family moved back to the Charleston area in 2011 and he continued working remotely for the company.
The family settled in Cane Bay and Scrio became very active in his children’s schools. He started substitute teaching through Kelly Services, all while still working for the logistics company.
Scrio was friends with a BCSO deputy, who one day told Scrio about a reserve program – which would make him a volunteer deputy. Scrio participated in the program for about a year until the Sheriff’s Office offered him a full-time position. Scrio told them yes…but only on the condition that he could be an SRO.
“I specifically only wanted to be an SRO,” he said, adding, “I enjoyed being in the school substitute teaching, and I have always been fascinated by the law…I figured, well, we’ll just put those two things together and be an SRO.”
BCSD photo / Monica Kreber
With a pay cut, it was not only a big career change but overall lifestyle change as well – one that Scrio’s family supported as they sold their house to move into an apartment.
Scrio has been with his wife, who is a nurse, for more than 18 years. They have three children – two in high school and one in middle school.
“They were really supportive of the whole thing,” he said.
Scrio is passionate about helping others and making a positive impact on students – particularly at this level.
“Here, in the school, we’re interacting with these kids from kindergarten through high school,” he said. “So that gives us more of an opportunity to build a rapport with these kids.”
Scrio starts his day at the car arrival line at Mount Holly Elementary, and then alternates between the elementary and middle school throughout the day before helping out at Mount Holly’s dismissal.
Scrio engages with the students in a variety of ways. If the schools do dress-up days, he will don goofy wigs and glasses – he walked around in a turkey suit the week of Thanksgiving.
Something he likes to do with the middle school students is participate in their class assignments. He has a short stack of tests that he has taken with them – his grades range from a 46 to a 100. He recently helped with a dissection in a science class.
He said he tries to build a level of communication with the students.
“We can’t help them if they can’t talk to us and don’t feel comfortable enough to talk to us,” he said. “I want this to be a safe place.”
Beyond school, Scrio has helped Sedgefield Middle’s social worker in conducting home visits and delivering food to families. He is an assistant softball coach at Goose Creek High. His family is a registered host family for foreign exchange students.
As an SRO, Scrio said his objective is to serve as a resource for the two schools, their students and families.
“Use me as a resource – that’s what I’m here for,” he said.
Scrio has been described as “a social worker with a badge” because he does not look at everything as a law enforcement officer and tries to find underlying issues for a student’s behavior; BCSD’s SROs have been learning about restorative practices this past year, which focus on building more support and relationship-building within schools.
“You have to look at the root of the problem… What is the issue that’s causing these other problems?” Scrio said.
Sedgefield Middle Principal Heather Ducker and Mount Holly Elementary Creighton Eddings both doted on the impact Scrio has made at their schools.
Ducker described Scrio as one of the most passionate SROs she has worked with.
“He dresses up every single spirit day (as his uniform allows) to show the kids that he is a part of our school culture,” she said. “He does home visits, serves as a mentor, is always in the hallways, and does any other tasks asked of him to help our students have one more adult in their corner. Our school is very lucky to have Deputy Scrio as our SRO.”
Eddings said Scrio looks for every opportunity to build lifelong connections with Mount Holly’s students and community.
“His actions have illustrated his commitment to our school community, and his service shows that he is genuinely invested in our students and their families,” Eddings said. “He may be technically assigned to the middle school, but he makes sure to provide high level support to all of us here at Mount Holly Elementary. We appreciate everything he does and wish there were more Deputy Scrios.”