At What Cost? A Review of School Police Funding and Accountability Across the U.S. South
by Terrence Wilson, J.D.
Schools across the country attempt to make their campuses safer by hiring school resource officers. But research shows that stationing police officers in schools is ineffective and potentially hazardous to the mental and physical health of students, particularly students of color.
Schools that add more resource officers do not see a significant change in the rate of serious offenses and they are associated with more weapon and drug offenses at school along with higher rates of exclusionary discipline.
This article describes the current trend of increasing resource officer presence on campus and presents recommendations for effective school safety policies.
Morgan Craven, J.D., Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., & Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.
Moving a school away from ineffective, punitive discipline requires many shifts in culture, policy and practice underscored by viewing policy, procedures and students themselves through an equity lens. It necessitates all adults on campus working to actively help maintain a positive campus culture in addition to building authentic relationships with students.
This article provides strategies for rethinking discipline practices and attitudes to improve student engagement and learning.
School and district teams can review data, examine and respond to inequities revealed by data, engage all adults, and support strong and authentic relationships between students and adults.
Racial and Gender Disparities in Dress Code Discipline Point to Need for New Approaches in Schools
Chloe Latham Sikes, M.A.
Dress code policies and their resulting disciplinary consequences can actively harm student learning, particularly when they single out a student's gender, culture or religion.
Young women of color have been disproportionately subject to dress code violations for being true to their cultural or religious identities. Removing students from the classroom for dress code violations can compromise their education in addition to sending a message that they do not belong.
This article discusses the importance of preventing disciplinary disparities by making dress code policies that promote health and safety as opposed to objectifying girls' bodies or discriminating against culturally or religiously significant styles.
Why Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs Do More Harm Than Good
by Ana Ramón
This year, the Texas Senate Education Committee will hold interim hearings to consider DAEP policy recommendations that could become legislation during the next legislative session. While disciplinary alternative education programs (DAEPs) were instituted to remove students who commit violent and serious offenses, the majority of students referred to DAEPs are punished for violating the student code of conduct rather than serious, violent incidents.
Students in DAEPs lose numerous regular instruction days and face an increased likelihood of in-grade retention, disengagement and contact with the juvenile justice system. Recommendations to improve both student learning and retention should include ending policies hostile to student learning, increasing the presence of trained counselors and social workers who can help troubled students cope without removing them from the classroom and increasing funds for administrators and teachers to support students on their home campuses.
DRA Regional Policy and Community Engagement Director
The IDRA Newsletter highlights our staff's varied and diverse talents and backgrounds.
Terrence Wilson, J.D., is IDRA's regional policy and community engagement director, based in Atlanta. He comes to IDRA with a passion for serving young people, particularly through mentoring. Even as a teenager in high school, Terrence worked with younger students in middle school.
The Intercultural Development Research Association is an independent private non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring educational opportunity for every child. IDRA strengthens and transforms public education by providing dynamic training; useful research, evaluation, and frameworks for action; timely policy analyses; and innovative materials and programs.
IDRA works hand-in-hand with hundreds of thousands of educators and families each year in communities and classrooms around the country. All our work rests on an unwavering commitment to creating self-renewing schools that value and promote the success of students of all backgrounds.