New research has found that police deployed at schools, commonly called school resource officers (SROs), do not reduce school shootings, but rather increase student suspension, expulsion and arrest.
A Work paper Published last week by Brown University’s Annenberg Institute and written by researchers at the University of Albany, SUNY and Rand Corporation, it is considered the most comprehensive and rigorous school-level test of how SROs affect student outcomes. Using national school-level data from 2014 to 2018, collected by the U.S. Department of Education, the study found that SROs “effectively reduce some types of violence in schools” but do not prevent school shootings or gun-related incidents.
“We also see that SROs intensify the use of suspensions, expulsions, police referrals and student arrests,” the researchers wrote. “These effects are consistently twice as high for black students as for white students.”
Studies have shown that the introduction of SROs in schools improves general safety and reduces non-gun-related violence such as fights and physical attacks. However, the authors say, these benefits come at an increased cost to both school discipline and police referrals.
Studies have also shown that SROs increase chronic absences, especially for students with disabilities.
During the nationwide debate over policing last year, school districts across the country were started Reconsideration Use SRO, and several large cities-Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle, Charlottesville, And Portland, Oregon– Finished their SRO program in public schools. Other jurisdictions have significantly reduced their budgets for school policing.
The number of police in schools has skyrocketed in the last four decades, first in response to drugs, then mass shootings. Police departments and agencies, such as the National Association of School Resource Officers, argue that well-trained SROs act as a link between the school and the police department. A good SRO, they argue, could actually reduce arrests.
On the other hand, civil liberties groups and disability advocates have long argued that the zero-tolerance policies for school policing and petty harassment have fueled the “school to prison” pipeline and led to unequal enforcement against minorities and students with disabilities. .
Other recent studies have come to similar conclusions as new work papers. For example, a survey published last August by researchers at the University of Maryland and FarmWest found that an increase in the number of police in schools does not make schools safer and leads to stricter disciplines for violations. The study found that the increase in the number of SROs has resulted in both immediate and sustained increases in the number of drug and weapons crimes and the number of punitive measures against students.
A survey found that all K-12 schools that have at least one SRO or armed guardian after Marjorie Stoneman made Florida compulsory after a massive 2018 shooting at Douglas High School, the number of school arrests – which has been declining year after year.Suddenly begins to rise. The use of physical restraint against students has also increased sharply.
E.g. Because Report Last June, the Florida Civil Liberties Group and lawyers with disabilities warned that the increase in recruitment was leading to an alarming number of child arrests. Studies appear to confirm at least some of their concerns. The survey found that the presence of SROs “predicted law enforcement agencies, particularly for less serious violations, and a higher number of behavioral incidents reported among high school students.”
While overall youth arrests in the state fell by 12 percent, the number of youth arrests in schools increased by 8 percent. Florida police arrested primary-aged children 345 times in the 2018-2019 school year, the study said. It found four times the incidence of physical restraint in 2018-2019 compared to the previous year.
There have been a number of recent viral video sites arresting young children in Florida. Body camera footage from last year Rise Showing officers in Key West, Florida, trying to handcuff an 8-year-old boy, whose wrist was too short for a cuff. An Orlando SRO was headlined last September when he Arrested A 6 year old girl.
Such viral incidents have sparked national outrage and called for a reduction in SRO programs. Chicago staff who want to defend the school system’s police program have a 2019 quote Video Where Chicago police officers kicked, punched and teased a 16-year-old girl. Judiciary 2017 Report Abuse of Civil Liberties by the Chicago Police Department Results included Officers who beat teenagers at school for non-criminal conduct and petty violations.
Yesterday, Hawaii News Now A 10-year-old girl who was reported He was arrested wearing handcuffs For drawing an offensive picture that annoys another student’s parent.
Earlier this year, Rochester City, New York, released body camera footage of officers. A handcuffed 9-year-old girl is spraying pepper.
North Carolina mother Filed a civil rights lawsuit Last October against a policeman who handcuffed his autistic 7-year-old son and hung him on the ground for about 40 minutes.
The list goes on: A school resource officer at a high school in Camden, Arkansas, was fired. Video He was shown holding a student by the breath and picking him up from the ground. There was a North Carolina SRO Expulsion After he brutally hit a middle-schooler. There was a Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy in Florida Allegations of arrest and child abuse A 15-year-old girl at a special needs school has been seen in a video after being hit in the body.
In response to such incidents, legislators from states across the country have been Law enforcement To raise the minimum age where children can be arrested.
The authors of the new working paper say school districts should weigh the benefits of safer hallways against the high cost of contacting more children with the criminal justice system.
“The results of this study present a solid set of tradeoffs,” the researchers concluded. “Although our study does not analyze the cost-benefit, we encourage districts to consider these effects of SROs over other potential investments in preventing violence in schools, including remedial practices.”