Education Under Arrest: The Case Against Police in Schools, published by the Justice Policy Institute, details the statistical realities of having School Research Officers (SRO’s) in schools, including:
- Schools do not need SRO’s to be safe — Research shows that positive relationships and supports in the school foster a safe school environment, and the presence of SRO’s has no relationship to school violence.
- SRO’s allow a reliance on arrests to address student discipline — Schools with SRO’s are more likely to have arrests for minor offenses and disruptive behavior that might have been addressed by school administrators or policies.
- SRO’s interfere with education — Causing students to miss school due to referrals to the juvenile court system sets off a chain reaction that leads to the “school to prison pipeline.” Research shows that within one year of re-enrolling after spending time in a correctional institution, 2/3 to 3/4 of the youth withdraw from school.
- Some students — students of color and youth with disabilities — are affected by SRO’s more than others.
The report also includes detailed suggestions for change.