School Violence and the Perceived Effectiveness of the Safe Schools Program

School Violence and the Perceived Effectiveness of the Safe Schools Program

Author: 
Euphemia Baugh
Program of study: 
Ed.D.
Abstract: 
Researchers recognized that violence in schools is a worldwide challenge and many educational providers are disconcerted by its negative results. Although numerous studies had examined the effects of violence in schools, the effectiveness of the Safe Schools Program on the occurrence of violent incidents in the schools had received little or no attention. The purpose of the study was to explore and evaluate, through stakeholders perceptions and lived experiences, violence in schools and the effectiveness of the Safe Schools Program’s response to that dilemma. Several theories including badness honour were used as the theoretical framework. Two research questions guided the research process. A qualitative methodology and phenomenological design were used. Face-toface interviews were done with 17 stakeholders from three upgraded high schools and the data were analyzed using Moustakas’ modified van Kaam method and NVivo 10 software. Six themes were identified. The themes were school stakeholders’ views of school violence, influences on a safe school environment, and the school’s response to violence, insights relevant to students, school, and finally to educators/Ministry of Education. Recommendations are focused at school leaders and educators at the Ministry of Education. These leaders were asked to ‘fast tract’ respect agenda, pupil/teacher ratio, strengthen the roles of the dean of discipline and the school resource officers, and make attendance to parent teacher association meetings compulsory. A major implication is that educational leaders need to act with alacrity to further reduce school violence to keep social and economic consequences at the minimum
Dedication: 
I dedicate my dissertation to my grandchildren, Brianna, Joshua, Hailey, Alana, and Zachary. My hope for you is that you become inspired to pursue the academics in your chosen field and reach for the stars. To my sons Seke, Roje, and Chede; my 41 nieces and nephews; my 30 grandnieces and grandnephews, and my six great grandnieces and nephews, may you all be inspired. The ball is now in your court.
Acknowledgements: 
There are many persons who helped me to successfully complete this doctoral program, but first I want to thank God, my heavenly father, for helping me overcome all of the many challenges and guiding me through the process with good health and humor. My sincere thanks to my mentor, Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi, for giving me hope when you took on the challenge. You were a constant source of inspiration. Your patience, ethics, and feedback helped in expediting this process and for all of that I am deeply grateful. Thank you to my committee member, Dr. Ann Blomquist, for staying the course by standing with me throughout this journey. Your insights and guidance are appreciated. Thank you Dr. Adolfo Gonzales, my committee member who restored my faith in humanity. Your insights and guidance are appreciated. Sincere gratitude goes to my colleagues from the Mico University College who reviewed the interview questions and acted as editors for the research. Thank you, my colleagues for your encouragement. To my research participants, thank you for sharing your lived experiences with me. The data gathered were dynamic and rich. Finally, I want to thank family; my husband, Melchor who shared in experiencing my good and bad times. A big thank you to my siblings, your encouragement and prayers are greatly appreciated. My sibling, Ruby Levin, has earned a very special thank you. She has been a tower of strength to me. She has supported me through thick and thin.