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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220572 Find in a Library
Title: Safety Matters: How One District Addressed Safety Concerns
Journal: Journal of School Violence  Volume:6  Issue:3  Dated:2007  Pages:113-130
Author(s): Ethan Heinen; Jaci Webb-Demsey; Lucas Moore; Craig McClellan; Carl Friebel
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 18
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study assessed the impact on teachers and school administrators of a federally funded school safety program in the middle and high schools of Harrison County, WV.
Abstract: The School Action for Emergencies (SAFE) Project had a significant positive effect on school teachers' and administrators' perceptions of school safety. Survey results showed an increase in perceived safety at school based on perceptions before and after the project. Teachers were able to describe in detail their responsibilities in a security emergency after program completion. Teachers and students knew exactly what to do when an emergency code was announced. Within minutes the hallways were empty, classroom doors were locked, and windows were covered. There was also evidence that the project increased communication and collaboration among school staff on safety issues. Generally, the surveillance cameras were viewed favorably as a deterrent as well as a source of evidence following a security incident. Increased electronic surveillance has helped to relieve the burden felt by many teachers regarding their individual surveillance responsibilities. Emergency responders used their observations of the code drills as a diagnostic tool, providing information that enabled them to improve their performance and to give the schools critical feedback. SAFE Project relied on connecting existing individual networks into a district wide network with direct connections to the Harrison County Bureau of Emergency Services. A critical feature of the project was the systematic development of the infrastructure in order to support the implementation of current and future technology initiatives. In order to assist with implementation efforts, Harrison County Schools hired a consultant, who coordinated efforts and provided training. All partners participated in the training and in subsequent drills. Quantitative data were elicited from a 25-item survey developed in order to assess respondents' perceptions of safety in the district. 1 table, 3 figures, and 10 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention programs
Index Term(s): Emergency procedures; Interagency cooperation; School security; Violence prevention; Visual electronic surveillance; West Virginia
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