Schools across the U.S. look very different today than they did a generation ago. Police officers, drug-sniffing dogs, surveillance cameras, and high suspension rates have become commonplace. The Real School Safety Problem uncovers the unintended but far-reaching effects of harsh school discipline climates. Evidence shows that current school security practices may do more harm than good by broadly affecting the entire family, encouraging less civic participation in adulthood, and garnering future financial costs in the form of high rates of arrests, incarceration, and unemployment. This text presents a blueprint for reform that emphasizes problem-solving and accountability while encouraging the need to implement smarter school policies.
Aaron Kupchik is Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. His previous books include Homeroom Security: School Discipline in an Age of Fear, Judging Juveniles: Prosecuting Adolescents in Adult and Juvenile Courts, and Criminal Courts.
"In this well-researched and thoughtful analysis, Aaron Kupchik identifies the factors that have contributed to the over-policing of children in schools and offers sensible solutions for keeping children and schools safe. We are living at a time when fear and anxiety exert too much influence over our policies."—Pedro A. Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
"Professor Kupchik provides a clear and compelling account of what works, and what doesn't, in promoting safer, more equitable schools. In writing that is both grounded in data, and clear and accessible, he challenges the myth that school policing and school exclusion are effective or necessary in maintaining school safety. His work shows us how these approaches harm students of color in particular, and create long-term problems for our schools and society. A must-read book that focuses on the real problem in school safety--the over-reliance on punishment, and the under-reliance on problem-solving and caring."—Russell J. Skiba, Director, Equity Project, Indiana University Center for Evaluation and Education Policy