Dr. Brenda Scheuermann PI on $4.3 Million Grant
Dr. Brenda Scheuermann, professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, will serve as principal investigator for a four-year, $4.3 million grant from the National Institute of Justice to study a process for integrating law enforcement officers into an educational setting.
Although many districts now assign police to their schools, very little is known about "what works" in regards to school-based law enforcement. "This project offers us an exciting opportunity to evaluate a practice (school policing) that is widespread, but about which we know relatively little," said Scheuermann. "We hope to be able to show that giving school police officers and educators practical tools for guiding their partnership can produce desirable outcomes in terms of school discipline and school climate." By focusing on the implementation framework, rather than a specific program, this study will evaluate a translatable approach for enhancing campus safety and reducing exclusionary discipline that can be utilized by schools across the country.
This study builds upon the work that Scheuermann and the Texas School Safety Center have conducted over the past 20 years. Scheuermann has researched evidence-based approaches to effective discipline in schools and juvenile justice settings, relying on practices known as positive behaviors interventions and supports (PBIS). Her work has focused on both preventive practices as well as effective interventions for students who exhibit the most challenging behaviors. Most recently, she and a small team of researchers from across the country have been working with juvenile justice agencies in Texas and other states to revise behavioral programming in secure care juvenile facilities to reflect a PBIS framework. The work of this research team reflects, and has contributed to, federal recommendations for juvenile justice programming.