Fear of a Black (And Poor) School: Race, Class, and School Safety Policy Preferences – Race and Justice – article

Fear of a Black (And Poor) School: Race, Class, and School Safety Policy Preferences

Adam Dunbar, Aaron Kupchik, Cresean Hughes, Raven Lewis | Race and Justice

2019-11-03

School security and punishment practices have changed throughout the United States since the 1990s. Yet we know little about public support for these practices nor how this support varies when considering different students. The current study uses an experimental approach to assess public preferences for school punishment and security practices and how public opinion relates to student body race and class, as well as attitudes about crime. Results indicate that participants prefer security measures for schools with more low-income students and mental health services for schools with more high-income students. We also find that participants with racialized views of crime, along with those who view crime as a growing problem and fear victimization, are more supportive of carceral disciplinary policies and less supportive of therapeutic policies. We conclude by considering how ostensibly race-neutral mechanisms, such as attitudes about poverty and crime, may contribute to racially disparate surveillance and punishment practices.

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