NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1179139
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0826-4805
School Resource Officers, 'Zero Tolerance' and the Enforcement of Compliance in the American Education System
Bleakley, Paul; Bleakley, Cindy
Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education, v49 n2 p247-261 May 2018
Schools are an important part of any community, and are increasingly considered responsible for the social education of young people as much as their academic instruction. In doing so, many schools have adopted a 'zero tolerance' response to student conduct that involves harsh penalties for minor infractions. At the heart of this zero tolerance approach is the use of School Resource Officers (SROs) as a means of enforcing student discipline. Involvement of these sworn police officers in the day-today behaviour management processes of a school has serious implications for students that are targeted by these measures. Students at schools with a SRO presence are five times more likely to be arrested for disorderly conduct, with over 10,000 prosecutions of young people under the so-called 'disturbing schools' laws every academic year. SROs and their use as a behavioural deterrent can be seen to influence a juvenile's likelihood of recidivism and heavily impacts upon their involvement in the school-to-prison pipeline. Direct causal connections exist between the criminalisation of misbehaviour in school and adult incarceration; in this sense, the presence of SROs in American schools must be re-evaluated in order to determine whether they constitute an acceptable application of social control.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A