U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Evaluation of the School Resource Officer (SRO) Program: A Study of Six Selected Sites From 1998-2000

NCJ Number
Date Published
219 pages
During 1998-2000, students, parents, and teachers at six selected Pennsylvania school sites offered their opinions about the effectiveness of their School Resource Officer (SRO) program, which was an effort to reduce school violence by having SROs present in school buildings throughout the school day acting as classroom instructors, an intervention resource, a confidante, and a liaison to community services.
On the whole, the SRO was found to be a valuable addition to the school districts involved in this evaluation. Students, parents, and teachers viewed the SRO as a positive presence in their schools. Parents felt more secure about their children's safety; teachers welcomed the SROs in their schools and classrooms; and students' perceptions of the SRO as a deterrent to violence, as well as a resource, improved. A great majority of students (89 percent) felt safe while attending school; however, 11 percent felt afraid that someone would attack them at school or on the school bus (7 percent). Thirteen percent indicated they were afraid of being physically attacked on school grounds, and some students (12 percent) had stayed home from school out of fear at least once. Four percent of the students admitted they had brought a weapon to school to protect themselves from being physically attacked. Almost two out of five of the junior high and high school students thought that drug activity was a major problem in their school. The School Safety Environment Surveys were adapted from a survey developed by the North Carolina Center for the Prevention of School Violence. Pretest and posttest surveys were conducted in order to determine any changes in respondents' attitudes from 1998 to 2000. Student respondents were in grades 7 (n=535), 9 (n=630), and 11 (n=529). A total of 321 parent/guardians in 4 districts completed the parent survey; and 270 teachers from 4 school districts completed the teacher questionnaire. Extensive tables and figures and appended questionnaires