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ERIC Number: ED516392
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 335
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-0548-5
Decision Making Processes Used by School Resource Officers When Handling Student Threats of Violence
Warren, Winnifred P.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Walden University
School resource officers (SROs) are police officers responsible for the daily task of keeping schools safe. The extent to which this goal is achieved depends in part on how SROs identify, assess, and respond to student threats of violence. This task is complicated by the lack of knowledge regarding the most effective ways of handling a threat so that violence is avoided. The purposes of this research were to analyze the decision-making processes of SROs and to identify both best practices and impediments in handling student threats. Street-level bureaucracy theory was the conceptual lens used for the study, because it is a practical framework for analyzing how SROs use discretion in making decisions. This qualitative case study used criterion sampling to select SROs from middle schools and high schools in one county in a western U.S. state. All evidence that contained text was coded, analyzed to identify themes and patterns, and subjected to data triangulation, external auditing, pattern matching, and member checking. Insights from examination of artifacts and non-text documents were compared with themes and patterns derived from the interviews. Best practice strategies identified included building relationships with students to learn about threats; identifying potentially violent students and proactively intervening; and using responses like the youth court that imposed consequences, such as community service or writing a research paper that did not hurt students' academic futures or impose financial burdens. The findings will help SROs make better decisions when confronted with student threats of violence and allow them to create safer learning environments for all students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States