Rauk L, Schmidt C, Pelletier K, Heinze J, Cunningham R, Carter P, Zimmerman M. More is Not Always Better: Examining the Cumulative Effects of School Safety Policies on Perceptions of School Safety for Youth of Color. Journal of School Violence. Published online May 11, 2023:1-13. doi:10.1080/15388220.2023.2211768
In response to fears regarding high-profiled school shootings and firearm violence, schools transformed dramatically, implementing school safety measures such as school police, armed security, metal detectors, and active shooter drills. This study used nationally representative data to assess the relationship between school safety policies and student perceptions of school safety for Youth of Color in comparison to non-Hispanic, White youth. Results show that an increase in the total number of school safety policies – as well as specific types of school safety policies (i.e. armed security personnel and student search practices) – are associated with lower perceptions of school safety for Youth of Color relative to White youth. Findings may inform school administrators’ decisions regarding implementation of school safety policies to prevent school violence, including school-level decisions around firearm injury prevention efforts.
Keywords: School safety, school security measures, race, adolescents, firearm violence.