An Attack on Education: How South Carolina independent schools ensure campus safety and security in theface of potential violence
This project was an investigation into safety and security measures implemented by Heads of School within the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA). Interviews and an open-ended survey were conducted with both current and former Heads of School. The goal of the project was to determine a) how schools are currently addressing violence prevention; b) how Heads of School perceive safety and security issues; and c) how various factors serve to either facilitate or inhibit implementation of new safety and security initiatives. This report utilizes research conducted on school safety and violence prevention as well as relevant scholarly work on new program implementation. The qualitative data collected was evaluated using the Four Frame Model as developed by Bolman and Deal. This report indicates that SCISA schools are actively implementing new measures to prevent violence on their campus, but face significant challenges in the form of financial limitations and facility design. Heads of School consistently expressed that the topic of safety and security is one of their top priorities, if not the greatest single concern from their leadership perspective. The report suggests that successful implementation of preventative violence initiatives can be influenced by employee buy-in, appropriate training, and extensive communication with key stakeholders. Recommendations to SCISA include a clear vision and commitment from leadership, member schools developing a positive relationship with local law enforcement, consistent and dynamic training sessions with faculty and staff, and requiring a comprehensive safety and security audit as part of the accreditation process.