"Schools have a mission of great importance to our nation--they are responsible for keeping our children safe while educating them and helping prepare them to be responsible and productive citizens. The December 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, that claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 adults, has heightened congressional interest in school security. Policymakers have begun debating whether school security can be further enhanced, and if so, how best to accomplish that goal. A wide variety of proposals have been offered at the federal level, such as funding for expanded mental health services for students, funding for training on mental health awareness for school staff, funding to assist schools in improving school climate, funding for more school counselors, and funding for more school resource officers (SROs) or other armed security personnel. […] This report focuses on one of these proposals--the renewed focus on providing federal funding for more SROs as a means to preventing school shootings. It examines the distribution of and current number of SROs, the potential sustainability of any increase in the number of SROs, and the effect that SROs may have on students and the academic setting. It also examines what available research studies suggest about the extent to which SROs may reduce school violence. These are issues Congress may consider while contemplating an expansion of SRO programs."
CRS Report for Congress, R43126