Date of Conferral







Patti Barrows


Public schools in the United States are increasingly implementing violent intruder drills in response to school shootings; however, the impact these drills have on the well-being of preservice teachers is not fully understood. A lack of knowledge also exists as to how intruder drills contribute to preservice teachers’ motivation to enter the profession. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perceptions of preservice teachers who have participated in violent intruder trainings and drills. Using prospect theory as the framework, the key research questions addressed preservice teachers’ perceptions of violent intruder incidents and drills as well as their experiences participating in intruder drills and training related to self-efficacy. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 15 preservice teachers in the student-teaching phase or who had completed that phase of their education program within the preceding 6 months. The resulting data were analyzed using a multistage, inductive process to convert coded segments of participant responses into larger categories and themes. Key findings included that teachers’ perceptions change over time with the accumulation of experience and that preservice teachers have the added responsibility to process student emotions subsequent to events and drills. Additionally, participants reported a range of self-confidence, which for some was impacted by the type of training received. Participants desired more opportunities to learn and consistency between schools. The findings contribute to positive social change by informing educational institutions of the experiences of preservice teachers in order to benefit recruitment and instruction related to school safety. Consistent, repeated training on response to violence in schools and access to mental health is recommended.