Policing for Safety in Schools? Exploring Black Youth?s Experiences of New School-Based Policing in Britain
Derron Wallace

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Brandeis University

Primary Discipline

School-based policing is now a key feature of British educational policy and practice for the first time in the history of British schooling. The introduction of in-school policing follows a sharp increase in knife crime in major British cities since 2017. And though knife crime has occurred largely in out-of-school spaces, Britain?s Children?s Affairs Commissioner called for ?neighborhood police officers attached to every school? ?mirroring practices in the United States for dealing with safety in schools. The proposed study is the first ethnographic study of how Black youth experience new developments in policing in London public schools. Drawing on archival analysis, in depth interviews, and participant observations at one of the first schools in London to host police officers as members of staff, and to install metal detectors at the entrance of schools, this project advances two key objectives. First, it assesses the discursive development of narratives on policing students from 1970-2020. Second, it explores Black youth?s sense-making of routine in-school policing commonly proposed as a solution to school safety concerns. This project will contribute to international educational research by documenting the voices and views of Black youth on policing and schooling in the global city they call home.
About Derron Wallace
Derron Wallace is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Education at Brandeis University. His research is concerned with the analysis and amelioration of structural and cultural inequalities that shape schooling for Black youth, nationally and internationally. An ethnographer and comparative sociologist of race, ethnicity and education, Derron?s research has been published in sociology and education journals, including the flagship journal of the British Sociological Association Sociology, British Journal of Sociology of Education, International Studies in Sociology of Education, Cultural Sociology, Race, Ethnicity & Education, Gender and Education, and Harvard Educational Review. For his scholarship focused on the education of Black youth in global cities, Derron received the 2019 Joyce Cain Award from the Comparative and International Education Society, and the 2015 Distinguished Dissertation Award from Division G of the American Educational Research Association. Derron received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, where he was a British Marshall Scholar and a Gates Cambridge Scholar. He holds a B.A. from Wheaton College (Massachusetts), in sociology and the African diaspora studies.

Pin It on Pinterest