• School Safety

    SRO’s Threats to Shoot Student Highlight Dangers of Police in Schools

    Recently, video emerged of an altercation between a New Port Richey high school student and his school resource officer (SRO). The video, which has spread rapidly online and received national news coverage, shows the student attempting to leave campus in a car while being blocked by the SRO and a school employee. The student is apparently attempting to leave campus to attend a dental appointment, for which his parent reports previously notifying the school. As the student attempts to maneuver his car around the SRO, the SRO threatens twice to shoot the student.

  • School Safety

    School resource officers aren’t arrested often – but when they are, it’s usually for sexual misconduct

    The presence of law enforcement in schools – better known as school resource officers – has become increasingly common. These officers, who have full law enforcement powers, are supposed to keep students safe. Earlier this year, however, a former Michigan school resource officer – Matthew Priebe – was convicted and sentenced to one year in jail for doing just the opposite.

  • School Safety

    No, We Are Not Facing a Crisis in School Safety

    With a recent report of a potential school shooter in Colorado preceding the two-decade anniversary of the Columbine shooting, public attention is again focused on school safety. After several high-profile school shootings last year, including those at Parkland, FL and Santa Fe, TX, it is easy to believe the narrative that schools face a safety crisis. Indeed, recent data suggest that most Americans see schools as less safe today than two decades ago.

  • School Safety

    How Columbine became a blueprint for school shooters

    Since the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School, we identified six mass shootings and 40 active shooter incidents at elementary, middle or high schools in the United States. Mass shootings are defined by the FBI as an event in which four or more victims died by gunfire. In 20 – or nearly half – of those 46 school shootings, the perpetrator purposely used Columbine as a model.

  • Discipline,  Equity

    The Need to Look at the Entire Disciplinary Code of Conduct and a Visual Way to Do It

    Recently, Dr. Maida Finch of Salisbury University and I released a report in which we distilled each of Maryland's school districts' codes of conduct into a single visualization. Each is color coded to show alignment or misalignment with state recommendations. The visualizations allow for quick comparisons of disciplinary approaches across districts and to state recommendations.

  • Discipline,  School Safety

    School Discipline and Safety Presentations at AEFP

    The Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP)'s annual conference begins tomorrow. Ahead of the conference, I've compiled a listing of sessions and papers that pertain to school discipline and safety, based on a keyword search of the program for terms like "discipline", "suspension", "safety", "crime", and "violence". Let me know if I overlooked any other relevant sessions.

  • Book Review,  School Safety

    Book Review: We Say #NeverAgain – Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists

    Just over a year ago, on February 14th, 2018, the lives of students at Parkland, FL’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were shattered by the violence of a mass school shooting. The Parkland shooting would draw national attention, much as previous events like the tragedies at Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary had in years before. And, sadly, it would become a backdrop for a number of other school shootings, including that in Santa Fe, Texas, that would occur before the year was through. The Parkland shooting, however, has emerged as unique for how students responded and engaged after the shooting. Students from Stoneman Douglas High have entered the…

  • Discipline,  Equity

    Testimony in Support of MD HB950

    Below is testimony I submitted in support of MD HB950, a bill set to increase access to school discipline data and to set a more ambitious target for reducing racial disparities in school discipline. The full text of the bill can be found here. Testimony for the House Ways and Means Committee HB 950 – State Department of Education – School Discipline – Data Collection February 28, 2019 Position: Support I write from the perspective of an educational researcher and as a former public school teacher.  I am currently an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the UMBC School of Public Policy where my research has led to presentations and…

  • Discipline,  Equity

    Just what are ‘zero tolerance’ policies – and are they still common in America’s schools?

    When parents and educators discuss school discipline, one of the things that comes up most are “zero tolerance” policies. This term is often misused and misunderstood, according to new research I published recently. Zero tolerance policies are also thought to be widespread. But, my work and a recent report show they are actually less common than frequently thought.