Masters Thesis

High school teachers' perceptions of the effects of school safety measures on producing orderly environments conducive to learning and preventing harm

Threats to school safety continue to be a concern. School violence and unanticipated attacks on schools are occurring more frequently. Educational researchers have found positive perceptions are emerging in the way that schools prepare for handling a school crisis. Increased access to school counselors, school resource officers, awareness of school violence and crisis plans in place, are helping schools prepare to be a safe and supportive environment. This study investigated teachers’ perceptions regarding the effects of school site safety measures on producing orderly school environments that are conducive to learning and prevent harm to students and staff in violent life-threatening situations. Participants were interviewed individually using questions developed by this researcher regarding experiences and perceptions of school safety measures. Common themes identified from responses were the need for teachers to be involved in the discussion and offer input regarding the development of the school’s safety and preparedness measures; the need for schools to encourage teachers, counselors, school resource officers, and other support personnel to continue to build rapport with students and promote channels of communication and services for an ongoing positive school environment; and the need to evaluate and determine the effectiveness of the school safety and preparedness measures, and increase time dedicated to trainings geared toward preventing violent life-threatening situations.