School Climate & Safety Report Roundup

Do Segregated Schools Breed Crime Partnerships?

By Sarah D. Sparks — February 16, 2016 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Segregating poor minority students in impoverished schools not only makes it difficult for them to make the academic connections to get to college—it makes it much easier for students to instead make connections to crime.

In a working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists Stephen Billings of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Stephen Ross of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, and David Deming of the Harvard Graduate School of Education linked data from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., public schools with local police-arrest records.

Probability for Criminal Partnerships (Same School/Grade vs. Different School/Same Grade)

BRIC ARCHIVE

The likelihood that students who live near one another will team up for crime-related activities rises sharply if they also attend the same school, according to researchers who studied data on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.

BRIC ARCHIVE

Source: “Partners in Crime: Schools, Neighborhoods, and the Formation of Criminal Networks”

They found that students who lived within a kilometer of each other—walking distance to each others’ houses, and close enough that they would probably see each other at local stores and parks—and who also attended the same school and grade were significantly more likely to be arrested together. Students were not more likely to be arrested together if they attended school together but lived farther away, or if they were neighbors on opposite sides of an attendance boundary.

“You can be in the same classes, and maybe it’s a positive framework where you study together or do projects together,” Billings said, “or maybe you both decide to skip or do something [delinquent] after school together.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the February 17, 2016 edition of Education Week as Do Segregated Schools Breed Crime Partnerships?

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
The Key to Better Learning: Indoor Air Quality
Learn about the importance of improved indoor air quality in schools, and how to pick the right solutions for educators, students, and staff.
Content provided by Delos
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leading Systemic Redesign: Strategies from the Field
Learn how your school community can work together to redesign the school system, reengineer instruction, & co-author personalized learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety ‘Their Vote Matters’: Schools Provide Training to Students on Working the Polls
“We just want to make sure that our youth ... know that they’re important, their vote matters, their vote counts, they can get involved."
Jenny Roberts, The Morning Call
4 min read
Allen student Yovian Torres Gomez makes notes on his packet during a poll worker training Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, at Allen High School. Allen students will be working as clerks, handing out paper ballots and directing them where to go, when voting concludes Tuesday in the general election. Some will also be translating for voters.
Allen student Yovian Torres Gomez makes notes on his packet during a poll worker training Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, at Allen High School. Allen students will be working as clerks, handing out paper ballots and directing them where to go, when voting concludes Tuesday in the general election. Some will also be translating for voters.
Amy Shortell/The Morning Call via TNS
School Climate & Safety A Parkland Dad Pleads for Action on School Safety
A father whose daughter was killed in the 2018 mass shooting spoke at a summit the day after the gunman was sentenced.
3 min read
A women in a black t-shirt lifts small painted stones out of a cardboard box, placing them on the ground at a memorial covered in flowers in front of a large white masonry sign that says "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School."
Suzanne Devine Clark, an elementary school art teacher, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2019, one year after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
School Climate & Safety A School Safety Challenge: Keeping Crowds Secure Under the Glare of Friday Night Lights
Districts aim to keep students and spectators safe during sporting events, which draw large crowds to a less predictable environment.
5 min read
A police officer stands between rows of caution tape outside of a white high school football stadium that is brightly lit against the night sky.
A Tulsa Police officer films the area outside of the McLain High School football stadium in Tulsa, Okla., after a shooting during a Sept. 30 football game.
Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP
School Climate & Safety What School Is Like for LGBTQ Students, By the Numbers
Here are survey statistics on harassment, support, and fears experienced by LGBTQ students during pandemic-era schooling.
4 min read
Image of a student with rainbow straps on their backpack.
iSTock/Getty