The purpose of this study was to generate in-depth understanding and descriptions of secondary students' experiences of safety in the public schools. Quantitative research has demonstrated that students self-report feeling unsafe in school (Utah State University: Center for the School of the Future, 2006). School violence is decreasing, yet many school districts have sponsored and implemented heightened security measures. It seems a contradiction, but amidst heightened security secondary public school students self-report feeling unsafe in school. This study investigated this phenomenon to provide rich and detailed data, utilizing a grounded theory approach to qualitative research and design. The perceptions and experiences of secondary students in public school were described in focus groups comprised of eighth grade students. Five central and unifying themes emerged from the data informing how and why secondary students feel safe and unsafe in school. Results indicated that students feel most safe in schools when students have trusting relationships with school personnel and peers and when school adults adhere to procedures and policies and respond in meaningful ways to student concerns.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Jacobson, Suzanne E., "Students' Perceptions and Experiences of Secondary Public School Safety" (2009). All Theses and Dissertations. 1819.
school safety, students' perceptions, students' experiences, public school