Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Michael L. Cunningham

Second Advisor

Teresa R. Eagle

Third Advisor

Rudy D. Pauley


While there is no absolute deterrent of school violence, West Virginia has taken definitive steps to try to ensure safety in our public schools. Since the launch of the Safe School initiative in 1995, training for principals, teachers and school personnel on crisis intervention and management plans have been ongoing. Students have undergone training in programs such as Peer Mediation, Natural Helpers, Life Skills, Bullying Prevention, Positive Behavior Support (PBS), and Respect to Protect. In addition, encouragement, mandating and providing funds for school safety and violence/crime prevention and intervention programs have been enacted legislatively. With the school security hardware, safety procedures and violence prevention programs in place, the question then becomes whether elementary schools are safer in West Virginia. The purpose of this mixed methods case study was to determine what are the specific school security hardware, safety procedures and violence prevention programs, how they are perceived by principals as effective and what are the perceptions of principals' unmet needs addressing school safety. Elementary school principals in West Virginia were surveyed using the Principal Survey: Violence Prevention in West Virginia Elementary Schools utilizing a quantitative descriptive design, arranged to obtain numerical data and related demographical information from the respondents. The targeted population for this study was West Virginia elementary principals which accounted for a population of 336 (n=336). From this population of 336 (n= 336), 167 surveys were returned for a response rate of 50%. The West Virginia and national data compare very favorably. A valid conclusion would be that the West Virginia School Access Act (WVC§18F-9F-1) and Fund (WVC§18F-9F-3) of 2007 and the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Community Act (SDFSCA) of 1994 (Title IV, § 41114116, 20 U.S.C. 71117116) have accomplished its goals related to security hardware, safety procedures and violence prevention programs in West Virginia elementary schools.


School violence - Prevention.

Schools - Security measures.

Bullying - Prevention.

School violence - Prevention - West Virginia.