A study of factors affecting high school safety and security
Tolbert, Joy Rice
MetadataShow full item record
This study addressed safety and security issues in Georgia high schools. One objective was to determine if a relationship existed between the school design elements and the rates of discipline referral. Another objective was to compare the schools' discipline referral rates with their size, age, and location. The next objective was to examine crisis preparedness and the discipline referral rates. The study also investigated student characteristics that contribute to disturbances and discipline referrals. The final objective was to identify strategies to reduce disturbances in Georgia high schools. A survey was mailed to 200 high school administrators to identify characteristics of high schools and categorize school disturbances. The survey was based on an instrument, "School Safety Audit: Protocol, Procedures, and Checklists" (1997) from the Virginia Department of Education. Of the 200 surveys, 125 or 63% were returned. The independent variables included design features, the schools' size, age, location, and crisis preparedness. The dependent variable was the discipline referral rate. Statistically significant results were not found between design elements and discipline referral rates. However, schools having fewer than 500 students had the smallest rate of discipline referrals, while rural areas had the highest rate of discipline referrals. Administrators identified social judgment as the highest predictor of disturbances. They specified influence of the media to be the lowest predictor. The eight most important strategies in reducing discipline referrals, according to the survey were (by rank) the crisis management plan (1), resource officers (2), visible faculty and administrators (3), security cameras (4), code of student conduct (5), staff development on safety and security issues (6), character education (7.5), and counselor referrals (7.5).