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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Criminal justice–oriented security measures, while uncommon decades ago, are now more commonplace in schools. The primary aim of this chapter is to help the reader understand the implications of adopting tight security measures in schools. It first discusses the reasons underlying why schools have implemented tighter security measures in recent decades. It then describes the permissible legal backdrop that has made the proliferation of surveillance measures in schools feasible. Next, it synthesizes the available empirical studies measuring the effectiveness of tight security measures, concluding that their effectiveness is far from clear. It then analyzes the consequences of tight security measures on students and the learning environment, maintaining that these measures facilitate more student involvement in the criminal justice system and may contribute to dysfunctional learning climates. Next, it discusses the available empirical studies documenting that schools with higher concentrations of minority students are more likely to rely on tighter surveillance measures than other schools and the consequences of those troubling trends. Finally, it discusses alternative measures that school officials should consider implementing to create safe schools.

Keywords: School security, School safety, Search and seizure, School surveillance, School to prison pipeline, Fourth Amendment, Student privacy, Disparate impact, Exclusionary discipline, Safe learning climates

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