Blurred and Confused: The Paradox of Police in Schools

Andrea N. Montes, Daniel P. Mears, Nicole L. Collier, George B. Pesta, Sonja E. Siennick, Samantha J. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The get-tough era in juvenile justice ushered in significant changes to how schools respond to delinquency. One of the most visible changes has been the increasing presence of police officers who work in and patrol schools. The purpose of this article is to argue that this practice has blurred the boundaries between schools and police and, in turn, has created confusion about the roles of educators in safety efforts and of officers in education efforts, respectively. We draw on prior literature about school safety, school discipline, and law enforcement officers in school environments to describe this confusion and its consequences. This article contributes to literature aimed at understanding the changing landscape of policing and school safety and the challenges as well as opportunities facing the police and schools in educating youth, responding to misbehaviour, and maintaining safe school environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1546-1564
Number of pages19
JournalPolicing (Oxford)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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