|More schools bringing back police|
School districts nationwide are reversing plans to remove school resource officers or increase their numbers as students return to classrooms this fall. In June, for example, the Denver school board voted 4-3 to permit the "persistent presence of school resource officers" in the city's schools, which was a stark reversal from 2020 when the board voted to eliminate all SROs. Law enforcement officials say their presence in schools has been complicated by staffing shortages and new restrictions, while experts say research shows there's little evidence it will increase school safety and may in fact harm students of color. Although officers reduce some forms of violence, such as physical attacks and fights, they do not prevent gun-related incidents, according to a 2021 study from the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit think tank, and the University at Albany. "The best evidence that we have to date shows no deterrent effect of where gun violence happens in schools or where weapons are brought to schools. ... Similarly, when a shooting does happen in a school, those shootings, actually, on average have been more deadly in schools with police," laments Ben Fisher, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who recently reviewed dozens of studies on the effects of police in schools.