School Discipline & Security Personnel: A Tip Sheet for Advocates on Maximizing School Safety and Student Success

Oct 01, 2015
  • Description

Law enforcement and security personnel stationed in schools across the United States – often referred to as "school resource officers" (SROs) — are primarily trained to interact with adults, so children — particularly children with disabilities — risk experiencing lasting and severe consequences if SROs are expected to respond to their behavior. SRO involvement tends to criminalize normal adolescent behavior and disproportionately impacts youth of color, contributing to racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system. Security personnel and law enforcement should not be involved in any student disciplinary matter – only when there is a genuine threat to school safety.