Study Finds More School Arrests In Florida After the State Doubled The Number of Police in Schools
In 2018, Florida schools saw a hiring surge for police officers. As a result, a new study says, the number of school arrests—which had been declining for years—suddenly started to rise. There was also a sharp increase in the use of physical restraint against students.
“The presence of law enforcement in schools was related to increases in the number of behavioral incidents reported to the state, the number of such incidents reported to law enforcement, and student arrests,” the report says. “The results suggest a need to reconsider whether law enforcement should be present in schools, and, if they are, how they can be implemented in a way that minimizes unnecessary exposure of students to law enforcement and arrests.”
The study was conducted by F. Chris Curran, director of the Education Policy Research Center at the University of Florida. It comes as school districts across the country, reponding to demands for policing reforms, are reconsidering the use of school resource officers (SROs).
Florida in particular has rapidly increased the number of police patrolling its school hallways in the last two years. After the 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, the state legislature passed a law requiring every K–12 school in the state to have a police officer or armed guardian. The law more than doubled the number of SROs in Florida schools. The majority of those new hires were assigned to elementary schools.
Florida has also been the site of seve
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