Helms School of Government


Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (PhD)


Jarrod Sadulski


School Shootings, mitigating school violence, school violence, risk assessments in schools, Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Virginia Tech, security failures in schools, active shooter drills, school attacks


Law | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to understand the threats of school violence to children and school personnel employed in the South Central and Southeastern part of the United States and to identify strategies to mitigate these threats. The theory that guided this study was Clarke’s (2019) Situational Crime Prevention as it aims to improve the understanding of violence and the impact of potential strategies for the prevention of violence. Data for the thematic analysis were obtained directly from school personnel. The information from the findings could aid in understanding the process of threat assessment to determine if improvements are needed and if they do what could be done to accomplish that endeavor. Parents, school personnel, and students may also better understand the threat assessment process and how those policies are enacted to provide a safe school climate for students to be educated and instructors to teach. The findings revealed four themes. Theme 1 was about violence prevention and mitigation through risk assessment and crisis management planning. Theme 2 was about how prevention of unauthorized entry contributed to violence mitigation. Theme 3 concerned the need of school personnel to received active shooter training. Theme 4 consisted of most participants reporting a need for additional safety measures.