School Climate, Student Discipline, and the Implementation of School Resource Officers
Benjamin W. Fisher, Cherie Dawson-Edwards, Kristin M. Swartz, Ethan M. Higgins, Brandon S. Coffey, Suzanne Overstreet
School resource officers (SROs) continue to be one of the most common approaches that schools use to promote safety. SROs are meant to prevent crime in schools, but also to build relationships with students and school personnel and act as a resource for conveying law-related information. Critics of SROs suggest that they perpetuate the school-to-prison pipeline and have particularly negative consequences for students of color. In spite of these potential advantages and disadvantages of using SROs in schools, research on the effects of SROs has generally lagged behind, particularly in regard to outcomes beyond those related to crime and punishment. The purpose of this study is to examine the impacts of implementing SROs on outcomes related to school climate and suspension rates, with particular attention to racial differences in these effects and the role of school context. This study also examines how SROs perceive their roles and responsibilities and how these may be shaped by school contexts.