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Does Interacting With School Resource Officers Predict Students' Likelihood of Being Disciplined and Feelings of Safety? Mixed-Methods Evidence From Understudied Settings

Tue, April 9, 10:25 to 11:55am, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Floor: 200 Level, Room 202D


School resource officers (SROs) are increasingly common in schools nationwide. This study leverages mixed-methods data including student surveys and interviews with SROs, students, and other stakeholders to examine the relationship between the frequency and quality of interaction with an SRO and outcomes of disciplinary consequences and feelings of safety at school. The results suggest that more frequent interaction does not increase disciplinary consequences. Greater feelings of comfort and trust with an SRO, however, predict greater feelings of safety and, for comfort, fewer disciplinary infractions. Interviews shed light on the ways that SROs in this setting approach discipline and relationship building, suggesting reasons why interactions with SROs in this context do not appear to predict negative outcomes.