A safe learning environment is the very first measure every school district needs to have in place. An environment that provides students with a sense of security and safety enables students to flourish and be successful.
This qualitative research study determined the perceptions of rural school safety and violence as seen through the eyes of superintendents, principals, teachers, and students 18 years of age or older. By utilizing the Cobb (2014) study which focused on the areas of relationships, respect for diversity, school participation, emotional safety, physical safety, substance use, physical environment, academic environment, wellness, and the disciplinary environment, the researcher was able to gather information on what supported a safe school. The researcher used the interpretivism framework also defined by Butin (2010) who defined it as “reality is intersubjective in that it is socially constructed, such that it can be described and represented through diverse perspectives.” This was incorporated through a triangulated approach to research including The Oregon School Safety Survey, Pennsylvania School Safety Report, and focus group interviews; the researcher was able to gather perceptions on just how safe rural schools are in the Appalachia Intermediate Unit 08 in Pennsylvania.
The researcher was able to show the most common areas that all the focus groups concurred upon were drug use, fighting, and bullying/cyberbullying, and these three areas continually maintained the top three positions across all measures of the triangulation approach utilized by the researcher. However, in relation to positive safety factors, research has shown that student involvement in extra-curricular activities, parent involvement, and teacher relationships were of major importance in mitigating threats within the school system.
|Advisor:||Sobehart, Helen C.|
|Commitee:||Glunk, Janice L., Sobehart, Helen C., Webb, Danny R.|
|School:||Point Park University|
|Department:||Leadership and Administration|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational sociology, Educational leadership|
|Keywords:||Prevention, Rural, Safety, School, Security, Violence|
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