On the Threshold: The Story of School Security Guards in Israel


We often talk about the ways education should change society. However, we should also be sensitive to the ways by which social reality – sometimes harsh and unjust – influence education, and the intricate interplay between these two spheres. Under the conditions of neoliberalism, in Israel, as in many other countries, the practices of outsourcing and subcontracting are spreading rapidly. Simultaneously, private security services, which rely on them, are flourishing. Moreover, in Israel there is a unique security climate, and one of its consequences is the development of a sub-sector of private security in the form of school security. Thus, a tangible meeting point is emerging among educational, socio-economic and political factors, where school security guards play the role of mediators. But who are these guards? What does their world consist of and what do they bring to school life? In this lecture I will share the findings of a qualitative research aimed to answer these questions. Through interviews, observations and document analysis, the world of school security guards unfolds, and their relations with school pupils, staff and educational processes are reveled. It becomes clear that, from their liminal position at the school gate, school security guards act as educational agents, infusing aspects of the socio-economic and political reality into school life while at the same time being influenced by school’s educational tendencies, which, at least in some schools, strive for social justice.

Author Information
Raz Shpeizer, Kaye Academic College of Education, Israel

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2016
Stream: Education: social justice and social change

This paper is part of the ACE2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon