How Western Pennsylvania Principals Support School Resource Officers in Building Positive Relationships with Students

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Authors
Croushore, James
Issue Date
2021-04-26
Type
Dissertation
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en_US
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Abstract
Abstract School Resource Officers (SROs) are municipal police officers on patrol within schools and take orders and governance from their chiefs of police. Since SROs are not trained educators, they receive support from school principals to help build relationships with students while they patrol their schools. Recent research shows the importance of SROs’ roles as mentors and emphasizes the importance of building relationships with students. The importance of relationships between SROs and students is the motivation for this research. This study is an instrumental case study that seeks to answer the research question: how do principals support SROs in building positive relationships with students in public high schools in Western Pennsylvania? The researcher interviewed nine high school principals, nine SROs, and completed a document review from nine public high schools in Western Pennsylvania. The interviews and document reviews were completed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings from this qualitative research show principals can support SROs by increasing their access to students during the school day, ongoing communication between principals and SROs, building principals’ trust in their SROs, principals remove SROs from the school discipline process, and principals’ promotion of SROs’ strengths. Findings to help SROs build positive relationships with students include utilization of the memorandum of understanding between the school and police department, regular meeting between principals and SROs, and school input into the selection of SROs. Keywords: school resource officers, school discipline, communication, classrooms, trust, public schools
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Creighton University
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Copyright is retained by the Author. A non-exclusive distribution right is granted to Creighton University and to ProQuest following the publishing model selected above.
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