This article details the experiences that members of a participatory action research project (PAR) had in order to receive research approval from the Department of Education (DOE) of a large East Coast urban school district. Co-researchers in this project collected written and visual narratives to examine how school safety mechanisms have reshaped the physical spaces of the public schools they attend. Furthermore, this article argues that institutionalized codes of research ethics affect the kinds of research activities critical educational researchers are permitted to conduct in order to excavate how criminal justice-oriented school safety practices influence young people's lives.
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