New Research Shows Killings by Police Hurt Grades, Graduation Rates of Nearby Black and Hispanic Schoolchildren
Effects are larger when those killed by police are unarmed
by Desmond Ang, Harvard University
How will the death of George Floyd affect Minneapolis schoolchildren? New research I conducted on the effects of police violence indicates that it will significantly hurt their educational and emotional well-being.
Examining detailed data on more than 700,000 public high school students and over 600 officer-involved killings in a large urban county, I found that police use of force has large, negative spillovers on educational achievement and mental health. Students living near an officer-involved killing experience significant decreases in grade-point average and increased incidence of emotional disturbance lasting several semesters. These effects are concentrated among underrepresented minorities. While white and Asian students are unaffected by exposure to police killings, black and Hispanic students are strongly and negatively impacted by these events, particularly when they involve unarmed minorities. Ultimately, students exposed to police violence are significantly less likely to graduate from high school or to enroll in college.