The Perceptions of Administrators in One Particular School on the Effectiveness of School Resource Officers in a School Environment to Reduce Disciplinary Referrals for African American Students

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Leadership for Organizations


Department of Educational Administration


Advisor: Elizabeth Essex


School Resource Officers (SRO) are sworn-in police officers; however, while performing the job functions of an SRO they must adhere to the Memorandum of Understanding between SRO and the school in which they are employed. This study explored the perceptions of school administrators on the job functions of SROs within a particular school and how said job functions are executed equitably between all students. This study included semi-structured interviews with school administrators in charge of ensuring SROs execute their job functions in accordance with the school’s policies and procedures. Participants in this study spoke to the positive working environment continuously cultivating between SROs and students. Themes that were discovered were the building relationships with students and families, following the protocol of administration being the first responders and adhering to the memorandum of understanding contract. These themes were used to create an action plan to ensure the relationship between SROs and students remains positive and the treatment of African-American students remains equitable. The action plan included creating an open forum for question-and-answer sessions between SROs, students and their families. Confidential surveys will address concerns that were not openly discussed and to speak to program successes and challenges. Moving forward, it is imperative to refer to the action plan in place to ensure the progress gained continues.


African American Studies, African Americans, Criminology, Education, Law, Social Work

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