By Sarah Mahoney
Who's doing it: Who isn't? Some 68% of middle and high school students report that they are seeing security guards or officers on site.
Believers say: Police presence makes kids safer. "We had a lockdown last year when a gunman was holding people hostage near our school," says Dyanne Baro, of Miramar, Florida, who has three children, 19, 9 and 6. "It made such a difference having an officer right there."
Critics say: An excessive police presence is frightening: The NESRI survey found that a third of students say that it makes them feel threatened. "School is not a pleasure for these children; it's a punishment," says Roslyn Broadnax of South Central Los Angeles, who has two kids, 18 and 16, and often volunteers at their high school. "It's terrible to see good kids feel humiliated."
Reality check: Overly aggressive cops can make teens feel like criminals. "Almost every student [polled] said that heavy police presence makes schools feel like jails," says the NESRI report. Some schools luck out and get seasoned pros who genuinely bond with students. And others end up with bullies.