Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kim Nisbett


School violence has gained attention in recent years with the rise of aggressive behavior in schools across the United States. With increased understanding of this problem, school district administrators might implement prevention strategies or assess current school violence policies and programs. Using the conceptual framework of general strain theory, a case study was conducted in an urban school district in the northeastern United States that was experiencing increased student violence. The purpose of this case study was to explore teachers' perceptions of school violence to increase the understanding of the problem at the study site. All certified teachers in the study district were invited to participate. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with 12 teachers in 9 elementary schools. After compiling, disassembling, reassembling, and coding the data, various themes emerged. The findings from the interviews revealed a need for district-wide consistency to address school violence, professional development to train staff on violence related issues and mandates, and a program to combat as well as prevent the existence of violence in the school climate. A recommendation is that the school district adopts the School Wide Positive Behavior Intervention Supports to provide a framework of consistent management of student behavior and professional development practices within a district-wide violence prevention program. The study contributes to positive social change by increasing the understanding of school violence at the study site and providing the recommended program designed to improve school climate, student learning, and social behavior through a tier leveled system designed to reach all levels of school violence.

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