Home > News > Policing our schools

More News

How I teach - sociology

How I teach - sociology

Professor shows students new ways to think about social structure
 
Dr. Payne wins ACLU Kandler Award

Payne wins ACLU Kandler Award

Dr. Payne is recognized for his work on Street Participatory Action Research (Street PAR)—the process of doing research and activism with street identified populations.
 
cas faculty awards 2021 sociology

Outstanding faculty

Ronet Bachman, professor of sociology and criminal justice, has received a 2021 faculty excellence award from the College of Arts and Sciences, recognizing her dedication to faculty mentoring.
 
CONNECT

Policing our schools

Image Picker for Section 0
Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Students found to benefit more from counselors, social workers

​UD Prof. Aaron Kupchik says there is no consistent research showing that having police officers (often called school resource officers) in school buildings prevents student crime.

With the nation’s growing awareness of systemic racism and the deaths of Black men and women at the hands of police, many communities are reconsidering their policy of assigning officers to school buildings and questioning whether those salaries would be better spent—and more helpful to students—on counselors or social workers.

For social scientists like the University of Delaware’s Aaron Kupchik, this is not a new idea. He and other researchers have been studying the issue and raising these same questions for decades.

All those studies have found little evidence that stationing a police officer in a school helps to reduce or prevent crime and, instead, have found that more problems often are created, said Kupchik, professor of sociology and criminal justice.

Now, as educators and policy makers begin examining the subject of whether and how police, often known as school resource officers (SROs) are deployed, he hopes their discussions and decisions will also be guided by the research.

"There is no consistent research showing that SROs are able to prevent student crime, or even school shootings,” Kupchik said. “Most high-quality studies show either no effect or that the presence of an SRO is associated with more student crime and misbehavior."

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

​Prof. Aaron Kupchik studies the policing and punishment of juveniles in schools, courts and correctional facilities.

Schools and communities often argue that having an officer in a school provides students with an additional responsible adult who can listen to their concerns and help deal with problems. Most SROs are caring and professional, Kupchik said, but they are not trained counselors and are routinely expected to handle situations that are outside their experience and training.

“Police in schools are asked to do so much that’s not about law enforcement, things that could be much better handled by social workers or counselors trained in child development,” he said. “I’m certainly in favor of having schools provide trusted adults, but that person does not have to be a law enforcement officer.

“In fact, national studies show that students are less likely to take concerns to a police officer than to some other adult in a school, especially because an officer can’t treat information — such as a student’s concern about a friend’s possible drug use — as confidential.”

Kupchik cited findings from rigorous research studies, including: When a police officer is on site, there’s a greater chance of students being arrested, even for relatively minor incidents. As an illustration, in one school where Kupchik did research, he found that when two students fought, both were routinely arrested, even if one was, for example, a target of bullying or victimized in other ways.

And, especially important, he said, is that racial disparities — unintentional though they may be — occur widely.

“Across the board, in all situations where law enforcement steps in at a school, there are clearly racial disparities,” he said. “Black students are more likely to get arrested and more likely to face serious charges.”

No one is condoning misbehavior by students, but not all bad behavior should result in a child or teen being put into the criminal justice system, Kupchik said.

“This is such an amazing moment right now, with the calls for social justice, even while it’s appalling that it took so many deaths to bring this to widespread attention,” he said. “It’s great to see the increasing awareness, and I hope that translates to policymakers paying more attention to research and making thoughtful decisions.”

About Aaron Kupchik

Kupchik, who joined the UD faculty in 2006, studies the policing and punishment of juveniles in school, courts and correctional facilities.

His work has looked at the broad context of schools and punishment, and identifying children’s behavior as criminal in relation to issues including metal detectors and so-called zero tolerance policies in which young students are often arrested for relatively minor offenses.

He has published six books, including The Real School Safety Problem: The long-term consequences of harsh school punishment and Judging Juveniles: Prosecuting adolescents in adult and juvenile courts

His current work is focused on examining the relationship between court-ordered desegregation and school punishment. School suspensions began as a punishment in the 1960s, he said, and students of color are disproportionately suspended from schools.

He has found that school districts that have been the subject of court cases ordering desegregation are much more likely to have higher rates of suspension of Black students, raising the question of whether those schools are using suspension as a tool to resist desegregation.

Kupchik is also studying the legacy of racialized violence in schools and how that relates to desegregation.

Article by Ann Manser; photos by iStock

Published July 27, 2020

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

News Story Supporting Images and Text
Used in the Home Page News Listing and for the News Rollup Page
Studies have found little evidence that stationing a police officer in a school helps to reduce or prevent crime and may inadvertently create problems.
8/1/2020
Yes
Page Settings and MetaData:
(Not Shown on the Page)
Page Settings
police schools kupchik
No
MetaData for Search Engine Optimization
Policing our schools