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ERIC Number: EJ1103881
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-1946-7109
Surveillance, Violence, and the Marginalization of Students of Color
Schroeder, Stephanie
Penn GSE Perspectives on Urban Education, v13 n1 p56-59 Spr 2016
With the number of school shootings on the rise across the United States, and the preponderance of mass shootings off of school grounds, some school districts and politicians are responding with proposals for beefed up security and surveillance measures. While these proposals may sound appealing in the immediate wake of disaster, policy-makers and public school personnel must be aware of the disproportionately negative impact surveillance measures in schools have on students of color. School surveillance, heavily advocated in a post-Columbine world by a largely White and middle-class population, serves to simultaneously protect and marginalize (Lewis, 2006). Indeed, scholars such as Lewis (2006), Davis (2003), and Brown (2003) have argued that surveillance privileges and discriminates along racial and class lines. This commentary explores that tenuous dynamic, specifically focusing on the differential impact of school surveillance policies on minority students at Jamaica High School in Jamaica, Queens, New York, where doctoral student Stephanie Schroeder taught 9th grade English during the 2012-2013 school year. Herein, Schroeder argues that the school's multiple layers of surveillance physically marginalized student bodies upon entrance into school every day, and she questions how students perceived surveillance, especially as teacher bodies were not subjected to similar surveillance measures. She concludes with an observation that rather than protect students from danger, the presumed intent of surveillance features, one impact of surveillance at Jamaica was to make minority student bodies potentially more vulnerable to the threat of violence, an unacceptable but all too common consequence for people of color in a reactive and fear-driven political environment.
University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education. 3700 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Grade 9; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A