Date of Award

Summer 5-19-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D

Committee Member

Gerard Babo, Ed.D.

Committee Member

David Costantino, Ed.D

Committee Member

Dominick Varricchio, Ed.D


School Security, Active Shooter, Principals, Perceptions, Armed Personnel, New Jersey


The purpose of this study was to explore the predicament school principals face when formulating the best methodology to provide a safe environment for their students and faculty, while simultaneously creating an atmosphere that is conducive to education.

This multiple-case study is a replication of a dissertation published in 2014 which explored a unique phenomenon containing multiple variables within an urban public school district. Conversely, this research study examined suburban public school districts within communities that possessed a median household salary ranging between $86,000 and $105,000, where the socioeconomic status of these schools is identified and delineated by New Jersey District Factor Group GH, as designated by the New Jersey Department of Education. Twenty-one school principals were interviewed to collect evidence of their perceptions in relation to utilizing armed personnel in their schools.

The literature on school shootings and armed personnel in schools was thoroughly reviewed. This literature consisted of peer-reviewed articles and federal and state laws, as well as books and ancillary studies and articles depicting the contemporary climate of school shootings in our nation.

Through the face-to-face interviews I conducted with the school principals, this research study examined the perceptions of the principals as they related to school safety, armed personnel, policies and procedures, mental health, and communications among all stakeholders within the scope of their employment as administrators.

The results of this study provided valuable information, which I was able to vividly articulate into recommendations for future research, policy, and practice.