A Descriptive Case Study Of A School Resource Officer Program In One Urban Middle School
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentAdvanced Studies, Leadership, and Policy
ProgramDoctor of Education
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Urban public school educators are charged with responding to the tenets of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). In an effort to address the school safety tenet of NCLB, many urban educators collaborate with the local police agencies to implement a School Resource Officer Program (SROP). The goal is to create a safe and orderly environment in order to ultimately improve student outcomes (Warren, 2002); however, educators are rarely able to assess the SROP's effect on student outcomes using the perceptions of their key stakeholder groups, i.e., students, parents, and teachers. Therefore, this study was designed to provide public educators with an assessment of an SROP from the perspectives of these key stakeholders. Moos' conceptualization of social climate was used to understand these perspectives, and to ascertain if a link between the SROP and student outcomes existed. The participants included 150 middle school students, 150 parents, and 31 teachers. The study incorporated quantitative and qualitative components to describe the case. The quantitative component included an SROP Perception Survey, which was administered to students, parents, and teachers. The qualitative component captured the voices of middle school students through the use of focus group interviews to provide a better understanding and description of the SROP, The SROP was perceived to have (a) an effect on school safety, (b) an effect on deterring negative student behavior, (c) an effect on students' positive impression of police officers and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, (d) a weak effect on student achievement, and (e) a weak effect on daily student attendance. The SROP, however, was perceived to positively influence students' awareness of truancy laws.