Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Chang, Janet


The study examined the perception of school resource officers (SROs) role in a school setting, the training they received prior to working in a school setting, their interaction with students, and their relationship with school administration, staff, and school social workers. Previous studies discussed SROs’ roles to be ambiguous and their primary focus of a school resource officer to maintain school safety, while other studies discussed the criminalization in schools due to the placement of law enforcement in the school settings.

The study employed a qualitative design with face-to-face interviews with seven participants who serve or have served as a SRO's in a public school, grades kindergarten through twelfth grade. The study found that SROs knew their roles very well and did not feel their role was ambiguous. The study also revealed that and that school administrators might cause issues if they did not fully understand the role and limitations of the SRO’s. Another finding of the study was that SRO’s roles do not collide with school social workers (SSWs). Based on the findings of the study, we recommend that school administrators and staff work on understanding the role of SROs to better work with the students they serve. The study findings also encourage SROs, SSWs and school administrators to work collaboratively to better serve students on campus effectively and work with better understanding each disciplines knowledge.