School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


James Swezey


School Resource Officer, School Safety, Perceptions




The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to examine school resource officers’ (SROs) perceptions of school safety assigned to 12 schools within rural communities located in the Southeast region of the United States. For this study, school safety was defined as the overall safety and well-being of the school environment. The perceptions of the SROs assigned to selected schools were examined using this definition of school safety. All aspects of safety within the schools were the focus of the study and were not limited to any specific areas of emphasis. This study utilized a purposeful sampling of 12 participants from three school districts in the Southeastern region of the United States. Interviews were conducted with the participants of the study. Analyses of each participant’s interview, both within-case and cross-case, were completed Personal observations of the SROs within the setting and documents were also be gathered and utilized for this study. Results of this study indicated that SROs are dedicated to ensuring that their assigned schools are safe and secure; however, the need exists for further collaborative efforts between SROs, school administrators, teachers, students, and others to adequately address the various safety needs within schools. The analysis of the data showed the need to better clarify and communicate SROs’ roles and responsibilities to others within the schools, while also highlighting the importance of relationships between SROs and students, teachers, and administrators to further enhance school safety.

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