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BRIEF RESEARCH REPORT article

Front. Public Health
Sec. Injury prevention and control
Volume 12 - 2024 | doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2024.1322156
This article is part of the Research Topic Urgent Injury and Violence-Related Public Health Threats: The Role of Social Determinants in Cross-Cutting Injury and Violence across the Lifespan View all 16 articles

Examining the association between the presence of an SRO and the occurrence of a school shooting

Provisionally accepted
Yesnely Flores Yesnely Flores 1*Imani Belton Imani Belton 2Briana Woods-Jaeger Briana Woods-Jaeger 2Janet Cummings Janet Cummings 2Melvin Livingston Melvin Livingston 2
  • 1 Emory University, Atlanta, United States
  • 2 Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon.

    Purpose. The aim of the study was to examine if schools with school resource officers (SRO) were less likely to have a school shooting than schools without the presence of an SRO. Methods. We analyzed the association between schools staffing an SRO (versus not staffing an SRO) and the occurrence of school shootings in the United States from 2013 to 2018 using data from the Washington Post (WP), the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Conditional logistic regression models accounted for all variation across school districts and controlled for whether or not the school employed a school counselor, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and the school year. Results. School shootings were more likely to happen in schools that staffed an SRO than schools without an SRO (OR=5.30, 95% CI [2.69,10.42]). The association remained positive and statistically significant in alternative specifications and sensitivity analyses. Conclusions. There was a positive association between the presence of an SRO and having a school shooting. Study findings suggest a need to reevaluate the current prevention efforts of school shootings with SROs.

    Keywords: gun violence, school shootings, shared risk factors, Adolescent, prevention

    Received: 15 Oct 2023; Accepted: 20 Mar 2024.

    Copyright: © 2024 Flores, Belton, Woods-Jaeger, Cummings and Livingston. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

    * Correspondence: Yesnely Flores, Emory University, Atlanta, United States

    Disclaimer: All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.