Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware
- There are costs to having increased security in schools such as increased misbehavior and violence from students.
- Student behavior worsens with strict punishment policies.
- At-risk students are put greater risk with harsh punishment policies.
In the study, “Homeroom Security: School Discipline in an Age of Fear,” Kupchik analyzes the impact of having heavy school security and harsh zero-tolerance policies in schools on students and their later lives. Kupchik notes that schools are becoming more focused on enforcing rules than to understanding and solving the student’s underlying reasons for misbehaving. He also notes that harsh punishments take away students’ voices and undermine the authority of school rules and punishments encouraging misbehavior. According to Kupchik, the schools use the rules to punish students rather than help them succeed, especially as at-risk students are more likely to be low-income students.