Source: (2011) Washington, DC: Justice Policy Institute.

For many yearsprior to the widespread placement of SROs, schools operated using their own discretion regarding student behavior, calling the police forincidents of serious concern, but primarily relying on teachers, administrators and counselors to educate and maintain safety. With increased understanding of practices that promote positive and safe school environments, schools should follow the lead of jurisdictions like Clayton County, Georgia,which has decreased referrals to the juvenile justice systemby establishing a disciplinary code. In addition, jurisdictions should also reconsider the need to use law enforcement officers to carry out the mentoring, counseling, and social worker functions that could be handled by counselors, teachers, and school staff. It is in the best interest of communities to find ways to educate all children. Pushing kidsout of school by focusing on law enforcement responses and punitive policies toward behavior ultimately results in more incarceration and reduced community well-being. (Excerpt) Restorative practices play heavily in the recommended alternatives.

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