Study: Some School Security Measures Make Students Feel Unsafe

The study also found a correlation between race and school security.

A study examining security measures at U.S. high schools paints a negative picture of the effectiveness of certain measures in making students feel safer.

The research was conducted in part by Canisius College Associate Professor of Psychology Timothy J. Servoss, PhD. Here is an excerpt from the study:

Further findings show that the more security in a school, the less safe students feel. Additionally, increased security does not decrease student misbehavior, crime, victimization or bullying. It does, however, lead to higher suspension rates in schools that utilize resource officers. Heightened security also triples the likelihood of students being arrested in schools that employ police officers. And the number of African American students arrested is disproportionately higher than their Caucasian counterparts.

“It’s not the case that the school with the police officer is arresting more kids because the misbehaviors are higher than at other schools,” says Servoss. “It’s really a convenience factor but the result is that common misbehaviors become criminalized.”

~ Extracted from: Campus Safety Online Magazine, August 2016

My Comments:

The reliance on deterring tools such as cameras is not producing a solid return on the initial investment. Positive interactions, sound processes to address illicit behaviours, an opportunity to make reparative actions rather than isolative consequences are all key ingredients to success. I always say that if you place emphasis on teaching behavioural management to school staff rather than verbal de-escalation techniques (and lots of practice time), you will have your staff fighting kids rather that sitting down and finding solutions.

#schoolsafety #schools

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Safety Education, Security audits &

Consulting in Ontario and across Canada.