Perceptions of Male Urban College Students of Color: Police, Policing, and the Impact on Their Educational Experiences




Hernandez, David

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This study captures the educational stories of six male students of color living in a mid-size urban city in New York State. Their lived experiences provide counter-stories contradicting the belief that students of color have a greater propensity for criminal conduct due to a lack interest in educational achievement resulting in their involvement in the criminal justice system. It gives voice to their lived experiences in an effort to speak out against the racial discrimination they experienced and/or witnessed at the hands of those charged with protecting them, the police.

Utilizing a qualitative research design (Creswell, 2007, 2014; Merriam & Tisdell, 2016; Stake, 2006) consisting of a multiple case study methodology (Saldana, 2016; Stake, 2006; Saldana, 2016; Seidman, 2012) and an educational-life history (Cole & Knowles, 2001; Goodson & Gill, 2001; Hatch & Wisniewski, 1995) approach, the stories of these six students were analyzed through a critical race theoretical lens (Bell, Delgado, & Stefancic, 2005; Delgado & Stefancic, 2000). This analysis helped identify four common themes emanating from their educational experiences. These themes are: systems of support, neighborhood construct, police in schools: friends or foes, and resilience capital. These thematic threads encapsulate the lived experiences of the participants providing for several significant findings.


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Critical Race Theory, Education, Police



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies