Wake BOE Considers Adding Guards at Elementary Schools

Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in Breaking News | 0 comments

The Wake County school board is scheduled to vote Tuesday, January 22, 2013 on an $835,000 contract to pay for one security guard to be assigned to each of the district’s 105 elementary schools the rest of this school year. School board chairman Keith Sutton said Saturday that school administrators are budgeting $2.375 million into the 2013-14 school year budget to keep the guards year-round.

Where is community involvement on this issue?  Why the rush to vote when there is no evidence that demonstrates that security officers will make schools safer?

There is currently no WCPSS Board policy on the use of security officers.

Were other new security measures were considered? If so, what measures were considered, and why were they rejected in favor of security officers?  If no other options were considered, why not?

Could the $3,600,000+ (WCPSS already spends approximately $1.3M per year on security officers and may soon spend another $2.375M) that may soon be spent on security officers be used for measures that have been proven to improve school safety, such as:

  • community-building through smaller school and class sizes, increased parent involvement, and relationship-building between staff and students;
  • bullying prevention, social and emotional learning, and restorative justice programs; and
  • additional support staff, including social workers, counselors, psychologists, and mentors?


Lisa Abregu, Restorative Justice in Schools: Restoring Relationships and Building Community, Dispute Resolution Magazine, Vol. 18 No. 4 (2012)

Victor Battistich, Caring School Communities, Educational Psychologist, Vol. 32, Issue 3 (1997)

Randall R. Beger, The “Worst of Both Worlds”: School Security and the Disappearing Fourth Amendment Rights of Students, 28 Crim. Just. Rev. 336 (2003)

Randall R. Beger, Expansion of Police Power in Public Schools and Vanishing Rights of Students, 29 Soc. Just. 119 (2002)

Kim Brooks et al., Justice Policy Institute, School House Hype: Two Years Later (2000)

Ronald Burns & Charles Crawford, School Shootings, the Media, and Public Fear: Ingredients for Moral Panic, 32 Crime L. & Soc. Change 147 (1999)

Jane G. Coggshall, et. al., Enhancing Educators’ Capacity to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline, in Keeping Kids in School and Out of Courts, A Collection of Reports to Inform the National Leadership Summit on School-Justice Partnerships (2011)

Jeffrey J. Cohen & Marian C. Fish, Handbook of School-Based Interventions: Resolving Student Problems and Promoting Healthy Educational Environments (1993)

James P. Comer, Schools that Develop Children, The American Prospect (Apr. 23, 2011)

James P. Cromer & Alvin F. Poussaint, Raising Black Children (1992)

Elizabeth Donohue et al., Justice Policy Institute, School House Hype: School Shootings and the Real Risk Kids Face in America (1998)

Annette Fuentes, Lockdown High: When Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse (2011)

Joseph C. Gagnon & Peter E. Leone, Alternative Strategies for School Violence Prevention, in Zero Tolerance: Can Suspension and Expulsion Keep Schools Safe? 101-02 (Russell J. Skiba & Gil G. Noam eds., 2001)

Rachel Garver & Pedro Noguera, For Safety’s Sake: A Case Study of School Security Efforts and Their Impact on Education Reform, 3 Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk 7 (2012)

Thalia Gonzalez, Keeping Kids in Schools: Restorative Justice, Punitive Discipline, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline, 41 J.L. & Educ. 281 (2012)

Paul J. Hirschfield, Preparing for Prison?: The Criminalization of School Discipline in the USA, 12 Theoretical Criminology 79 (2008)

Deborah Gordon Klehr, Addressing the Unintended Consequences of No Child Left Behind and Zero Tolerance: Betters Strategies for Safe Schools and Successful Students, 16 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol’y 585 (2009)

Aaron Kupchik, Homeroom Security: School Discipline in an Age of Fear (2010)

David Karp & Beau Breslin, Restorative Justice in School Communities, Youth & Society, Vol. 33, No. 2, (2011)

Krista Kutash & Albert J. Duchnowski, The Role of Mental Health Services in Promoting Safe and Secure Schools, The Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence at George Washington University and Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory at the Center for Classroom Teaching and Learning (September 2007)

Clea A. McNeely, et al., Promoting School Connectedness: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, Journal of School Health, Vol. 72, No. 4 (2002)

Gale M. Morrison, et al., School Expulsion as a Process and an Event: Before and After Effects on Children at Risk for School Discipline in Zero Tolerance: Can Suspension and Expulsion Keep Schools Safe?, New Directions for Youth Development (Russell J. Skiba & Gil G. Noam, eds., 2001)

Gil G. Noam, et al., Beyond the Rhetoric of Zero Tolerance: Long-Term Solutions for At-Risk Youth, in Zero Tolerance: Can Suspension and Expulsion Keep Schools Safe?  (Russell J. Skiba & Gil G. Noam, eds., 2001)

Pedro A. Noguera, Schools, Prisons and the Social Implications of Punishment: Rethinking Disciplinary Practices, 42 Theory to Prac. 341 (2003)

Pedro A. Noguera, Finding Safety Where We Least Expect It: The Role of Social Capital in Preventing School Violence, in Zero Tolerance: Resisting the Drive for Punishment in Our Schools (William Ayers, et al. eds., 2001)

David M. Osher, et al., The Best Approach to Safety is to Fix Schools and Support Children and Staff, in Zero Tolerance: Can Suspension and Expulsion Keep Schools Safe?, Editors (Russell J. Skiba & Gil G. Noam, eds., 2001)

David Osher, et al., How Can We Improve School Discipline, Educational Researcher, Vol. 39, No. 1 (2010)

Robert C. Pianta, et al., How Schools Can do Better: Fostering Stronger Connections Between Teachers and Students, in A Critical View of Youth Mentoring (Jean E. Rhodes, ed., 2002)

Peter Price, When is a Police Officer an Officer of the Law?: The Status of Police Officers in Schools, 99 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 541 (2009)

Augustina Reyes, The Criminalization of Student Discipline Programs and Adolescent Behavior, 21 St. John’s J. Legal Comment. 73 (2006)

Christopher G. Robbins, Expelling Hope: The Assault on Youth and the Militarization of Schooling (2008)

Susan Sandler, et al., Justice Matters, Turning to Each Other Not on Each Other: How School Communities Prevent Racial Bias in School Discipline (2000)

Vincent Schiraldi & Jason Ziedenberg, How Distorted Coverage of Juvenile Crime Affects Public Policy, in Zero Tolerance: Resisting the Drive for Punishment in Our Schools 114-125 (William Ayers, et al. eds., 2001)

Russell J. Skiba et al., African American Disproportionality in School Discipline: The Divide Between Best Evidence and Legal Remedy, 54 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 1071 (2009/2010)

Russell Skiba & M. Karega Rausch, School Disciplinary Systems: Alternatives to Suspension and Expulsion, in Children’s Needs III: Development, Prevention, and Intervention  (George G. Bear & Kathleen M. Minke, eds., 2006)

Russell Skiba, et al., Preventing School Violence: A Practical Guide to Comprehensive Planning (2001)

Russell Skiba, et al., “Discipline is Always Teaching”: Effective Alternatives to Zero Tolerance in Indiana’s Schools, Indiana Youth Services Association, Education Policy Briefs, Vol. 2, No. 3 (2004)

Daniel Soloman, et al., Creating Classrooms that Students Experience as Communities, American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 6 (1996)

Jeffrey Sprague, Creating Prevention and Intervention Strategies, The Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence at George Washington University and Northwest Regional Education Laboratory (2008)

Aaron Sussman, Learning in Lockdown: School Police, Race, and the Limits of the Law, 59 UCLA L. Rev. 788 (2012)

Cara Suvall, Restorative Justice in Schools: Learning from Jena High School, 44 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 547 (2009)

George H. Wood, Schools that Work: America’s Most Innovative Public Education Programs (1992)

School Connectedness: Strategies for Increasing Protective Factors Among Youth, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2009)