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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Caitlin G. Lynch, Randy R. Gainey and Allison T. Chappell

With the expansion of school resource officer programs and the increased use of harsh disciplinary measures in schools, there is a growing concern that school safety…

1602

Abstract

Purpose

With the expansion of school resource officer programs and the increased use of harsh disciplinary measures in schools, there is a growing concern that school safety measures are contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline, particularly in already disadvantaged schools. However, there is a lack of research on the relationship between social and educational disadvantage in schools and the roles and functions of school resource officers. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the School Survey on Crime and Safety (2006), this paper utilized structural equation modeling to investigate to what extent, if any, does social and educational disadvantage in schools influence the roles and functions of school resource officers.

Findings

Findings suggest that school resource officers assigned to schools with greater levels of social and educational disadvantage perform more law enforcement-related functions, while school resource officers assigned to schools with less social and educational disadvantage perform more education-related functions.

Originality/value

There is a lack of empirical literature on the specific roles and functions of school resource officers and whether or not the varying levels of social and educational disadvantage can predict how school resource officers are utilized. The current study aims to address this gap in the literature by examining how the social and educational disadvantage of schools predicts the roles and functions of school resource officers.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2015

Anthony H. Normore, Darius Bone, Delaney Jones and Stacy Spell

School resource officers (SROs) are sworn law enforcement who are responsible for providing security and crime prevention services in the American school environment. SROs…

Abstract

School resource officers (SROs) are sworn law enforcement who are responsible for providing security and crime prevention services in the American school environment. SROs have become commonplace in American schools, but support for their continued work is meeting more resistance from those who feel that schools need to be focused on education and not police actions. The responsibilities of SROs are similar to regular police officers in that they have the ability to make arrests, respond to calls for service, and document incidents that occur within their jurisdiction. They are expected to be more than a law enforcement officer; they are expected to be leaders, educate students about law-related topics; be a role model to youth; and typically have additional duties to include mentoring and conducting presentations on youth-related issues. SRO programs receive valuable augmented training from a partner in school safety, the non-profit organization – National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). Towards this end, we will: (1) provide a historical context of SRO programs in the United States, (2) highlight concerns and challenges of school communities, (3) briefly present the case of SRO in Los Angeles, and (4) highlight implications for educational leadership. Conclusions and recommendations are presented.

Details

Legal Frontiers in Education: Complex Law Issues for Leaders, Policymakers and Policy Implementers
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-577-2

Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Michelle F. Wright

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the buffering effect of the mediation of technology use and social support from school resource officers on the associations…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the buffering effect of the mediation of technology use and social support from school resource officers on the associations between cyber victimization and psychosocial adjustment difficulties (i.e. depression, anxiety, loneliness) over three years (wave-one=sixth grade; wave-two=seventh grade; wave-three=eighth grade).

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were 867 eighth graders from the Midwestern USA (ages range from 13 to 15 years old; 51 percent female).

Findings

The findings revealed that high levels of wave-two perceived social support from school resource officers and the mediation of technology use made the relationship between wave-one cyber victimization and wave-three depression more negative, while lower levels of this support and less mediation of technology use made the association more positive. These patterns were not found for anxiety and loneliness.

Originality/value

Implications for prevention and intervention programs and the role of school resource officers in such programs are also discussed.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 July 2021

Gabriel R. Paez and Roddrick Colvin

The purpose of this study is to explore school resource officers (SROs) and their role in preventing, detecting and intervening in bullying incidents.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore school resource officers (SROs) and their role in preventing, detecting and intervening in bullying incidents.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from 214 survey respondents, the present study attempted to identify the personal and situational characteristics that help to understand when SROs are likely to identify and intervene in bullying incidents.

Findings

Taking a multivariate logistic regression approach, the results show that SROs – regardless of race, age, gender and education – who can identify instances of bullying are more likely to intervene to stop it.

Research limitations/implications

The implications of improved training for SROs are discussed, as are ways to enhance the integration of SROs into schools’ overall anti-bullying efforts.

Originality/value

Bullying and violence in schools have been a growing concern for school districts and SROs are being increasingly seen as critical components of anti-bullying programs.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 July 2018

Philip Colin Bolger, Jonathan Kremser and Haley Walker

The growing concern about school violence and security has led to a dramatic increase in the number of police officers working in schools. This increase has been…

Abstract

Purpose

The growing concern about school violence and security has led to a dramatic increase in the number of police officers working in schools. This increase has been accompanied by a focus on the training of school-based law enforcement, the discretion that they exercise when interacting with youth, and the concern that these factors may lead to more youths facing arrest and formal processing by the juvenile and criminal justice system. What is not well understood is whether or not having formal school resource officer (SRO) training or higher education impacts the officer’s decision making when responding to an incident involving a student. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses survey data from school police officers within the USA (n=179) to examine the officer’s preferred post-incident method of disciplining the youth, from the most punitive and formal approach of suspension or referral to juvenile authorities, to the less punitive and informal approach such as diversion or warn and release.

Findings

Overall, the study found that officers who have received formal SRO training were more likely to prefer a formal resolution to the incidents, and more highly educated officers tended to favor less punitive and informal responses.

Originality/value

These findings question the current state of the effectiveness of SRO training at using diversionary tactics for conflict resolution in a school setting.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 October 2019

Jonathan W. Glenn, Lorraine C. Taylor, Hannah P. Chesterton, Shepeara Williams and Faith Moavenzadeh

The purpose of this paper is to leverage the perspectives of School Resource Officers (SROs) to develop improvement strategies aimed toward effective and efficient school

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to leverage the perspectives of School Resource Officers (SROs) to develop improvement strategies aimed toward effective and efficient school-based policing. This study offers recommendations to improve SRO programs, with the goal of streamlining the path toward safer schools.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study was guided by two overarching research questions that aim to leverage the perspectives of SROs. The first question aimed to identify SROs’ perceived barriers to successful school-based policing, while the second question explores their perspectives in hopes of developing solutions for improved school safety. This study used secondary qualitative data to explore the perspectives of SROs (n=456) via an opened-ended section of a statewide survey of SROs conducted by the North Carolina Center for Safer Schools. Conventional content analysis was the approach used to explore the data.

Findings

SROs identified the need for improved quality of and access to training, additional resources allocations and improved program implementation on the part of both policing agencies and school districts.

Practical implications

The authors recommend standardizing the manner in which SRO programs are implemented. In addition, partnerships should be developed between school districts and policing agencies to use school-based behavioral specialists to support SRO programs. Finally, the authors recommend further study of school-based policing as a concept in the academic community.

Originality/value

Little is known about the experiences and needs of SROs themselves. The present studies address this gap in the literature, leveraging their perspectives to streamline a path toward safer schools.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 18 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Arrick Jackson

Using a sample of 271 students from four schools in the southeast region of Missouri, this paper evaluates the impact of school resource officers (SRO) on young people’s…

4668

Abstract

Using a sample of 271 students from four schools in the southeast region of Missouri, this paper evaluates the impact of school resource officers (SRO) on young people’s views and attitudes about the police and offending. The results suggest that the use of an SRO in schools does not change students’ view of the police in general or offending. This weak impact is, at least in part, attributable to the negative contact that young people may have with the police and their SRO. This study concludes that, since the SRO has no significant impact on students’ perception of police or offending, then it would behoove school administrators to utilize their financial resources for counseling, student‐faculty crime prevention programs or delinquency awareness programs.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

Regina D. Lambert and Dixie McGinty

Increasingly, law enforcement officers are being assigned to US schools as part of the “School Resource Officer” (SRO) program. The SRO’s role is defined as that of a law…

1027

Abstract

Increasingly, law enforcement officers are being assigned to US schools as part of the “School Resource Officer” (SRO) program. The SRO’s role is defined as that of a law enforcement officer, a counselor on law‐related matters, and a classroom teacher of law‐related education. This study is a survey conducted to determine what personal characteristics, skills, and job tasks were deemed to be important for an SRO from the perspectives of principals, law enforcement administrators, and SROs themselves. A 64‐item Likert‐scale questionnaire was administered to 161 principals, 159 SROs, and 57 law enforcement administrators in North Carolina. A series of one‐way ANOVAs indicated revealed many significant differences in the importance ratings given to the various items by these three stakeholder groups, suggesting that job expectations for the SRO need to be clarified, and that the SRO role needs to be more clearly defined.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Charlotte Gill, Denise Gottfredson and Kirsten Hutzell

The purpose of this paper is to describe Seattle’s School Emphasis Officer (SEO) program, a distinctive approach to school policing that aims to connect at-risk students…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe Seattle’s School Emphasis Officer (SEO) program, a distinctive approach to school policing that aims to connect at-risk students with services and has potential to incorporate a trauma-informed approach.

Design/methodology/approach

Using qualitative data collected from a process evaluation of SEO, including interviews, observations, and analysis of activity logs and program documentation, the authors explore elements of the program that could be adapted for the development of a trauma-informed policing (TIP) model and highlight some potential pitfalls.

Findings

SEO activities align well with trauma-informed principles of safety, promoting collaboration, and impulse management and are delivered in a context of trust-building, transparency, and responsivity. However, the program is poorly defined and has limited reach, has not been rigorously evaluated, and faces serious threats to sustainability.

Research limitations/implications

This study does not assess the effectiveness or appropriateness of TIP. A rigorous evaluation is needed to improve upon and test the model to ensure that increased contact between police and youth is effective and does not contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to describe a potential framework for TIP and lay out an agenda for further research and policy development around this idea.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Margaret M. Chrusciel, Scott Wolfe, J. Andrew Hansen, Jeff J Rojek and Robert Kaminski

The purpose of this paper is to assess the perspectives of law enforcement executives and public school principals regarding school resource officers (SROs), armed…

3337

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the perspectives of law enforcement executives and public school principals regarding school resource officers (SROs), armed teachers, and armed school administrators in order to inform the policy discussion surrounding school safety issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilizes data collected from two surveys that were sent to law enforcement executives and public school principals in South Carolina. Respondents were asked about their experience with SROs and their perspectives on these officers’ ability to maintain school safety. Both groups of respondents were also asked about their attitudes regarding arming school employees.

Findings

There is a large amount of support for SROs from both law enforcement executives and principals. However, in general, both groups of respondents do not believe armed administrators or armed teachers to be an effective school safety strategy.

Originality/value

SROs have been the primary strategy adopted by schools to maintain safety, but in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, public outcry and political debate has spawned a number of proposed alternatives. Among these alternative security measures has been the idea of arming school teachers and/or administrators. However, there appears to have been little effort to empirically consider the perspectives of those directly impacted by school safety policy decisions. In particular, a gap in the literature remains regarding the perceptions of police executives and school principals concerning school safety policies and how the attitudes of these key actors compare. Thus, the current study addresses this gap by exploring the perspectives of key school safety stakeholders.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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