hero image

In the wake of the deadly mass shootings in the US, schools have enhanced their security, but a new study shows that more security could affect students’ grades. Johns Hopkins University researchers suggest that students who perceive their school as a prison will likely have low test scores and may choose not to enrol for college.

Enhanced security in schools affects perceptions of students negatively 

According to their research, students’ perceptions of their educational experiences are negatively impacted by an enhanced security presence. The new research reveals that greater security and continual supervision discourage students from wanting to learn since they feel the entire process to be too difficult.

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Social Policy and STEM Equity Odis Johnson said that with enhanced security, the impact on students is not localized to students considered problematic. Still, it has a collateral impact on all students irrespective of behaviour. He added that there is a safety tax for all kids in those institutions. 

The researchers have been studying racial inequities in police departments and schooling and how discipline in schools impacts student achievement. In addition, this research aimed to determine how security monitoring affects academic performance.

Schools have enhanced security with various surveillance measures 

With increasing mass shootings, schools enhanced security measures by having random dog sniffs, metal detector checks, contraband sweeps, closing campus for lunch, clothing regulation, clear bag policies, drug testing, and ID and security cameras. 

Johnson said that although surveillance is part of safety and security, the primary role of schools is educating kids. As a result, the researchers sought to understand whether fortifying schools affect students’ scores and decision to join college. 

Surprisingly, the survey found that increased security led to high suspension rates, and students were more likely to receive regular punishment. Black students were more likely to be in high surveillance schools than other races and had high suspension rates. Additionally, students from these schools had low test scores in maths and were unlikely to enrol for college.