Policing for Safety in Schools? Exploring Black Youth's Experiences of Policing and Organizing in London and New York
Derron Wallace

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Research Development Award

Award Year



Brandeis University

Primary Discipline

Students’ safety has become an increasingly pressing educational and political challenge over the past decade. Yet, there is a gap in educational research from comparative and international perspectives about how growing concerns regarding school safety influence the political formation and civic participation of young people in public schools and public life. In this cross-national sociological study, I examine how Black youth in London and New York City make sense of contemporary school safety crises and navigate such crises through their civic engagement in schools and society. In this study, I draw on archival analysis, surveys, and in-depth interviews to: (1) assess young people’s perceptions and negotiations of increased school surveillance measures; (2) examine the impact of on-going safety concerns on the physical and psycho-social wellbeing of Black youth in contexts of heightened security post-9/11 and post-7/7; and (3) document the public and private alliances that young people and their elders develop to lobby lawmakers and civil society leaders to make schools safer. This project seeks to contribute to international educational research and public discourses by documenting the voices, visions and organizing victories of Black young people in the global cities 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.

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