Making Schools Safer and/or Escalating Disciplinary Response: A Study of Police Officers in North Carolina Schools

Sorensen, L. C., Shen, Y., & Bushway, S. D. (Forthcoming). Making Schools Safer and/or Escalating Disciplinary Response: A Study of Police Officers in North Carolina Schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

64 Pages Posted: 11 May 2020 Last revised: 16 Mar 2021

See all articles by Lucy Sorensen

Lucy Sorensen

University at Albany (SUNY)

Yinzhi Shen

University at Albany (SUNY)

Shawn D. Bushway

University at Albany; RAND Corporation

Date Written: April 16, 2020

Abstract

The “defund the police” movement has recently called for the removal of police – or school resource officers (SROs) – from schools. This call is driven by concerns that SROs may heighten student contact with criminal justice or lead to disproportionately harsh disciplinary consequences. The current study uses linked disciplinary, academic, juvenile justice, and adult conviction data from North Carolina to estimate the effects of middle school SROs on a variety of student outcomes. Our findings indicate that SROs decrease the incidence of serious violence, but also increase the use of out-of-school suspensions, transfers, expulsions, and police referrals. This study provides new insights into the effects of police in schools, and implies new directions for policies, training, and accountability.

Suggested Citation

Sorensen, Lucy and Shen, Yinzhi and Bushway, Shawn D., Making Schools Safer and/or Escalating Disciplinary Response: A Study of Police Officers in North Carolina Schools (April 16, 2020). Sorensen, L. C., Shen, Y., & Bushway, S. D. (Forthcoming). Making Schools Safer and/or Escalating Disciplinary Response: A Study of Police Officers in North Carolina Schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3577645 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3577645

Lucy Sorensen (Contact Author)

University at Albany (SUNY) ( email )

1400 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Yinzhi Shen

University at Albany (SUNY) ( email )

1400 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Shawn D. Bushway

University at Albany ( email )

324 Milne Hall
Albany, NY 12222
United States

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

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