Date of Award

Spring 3-13-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Steve Bounds

Second Committee Member

Dr. John Freeman

Third Committee Member

Dr. David Hopkins

Program Director

Dr. John Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Sarah Gordon


School safety continues to be a concerning and vital topic in education. This quantitative study examines the willingness of students from a rural Arkansas school district to report weapons being brought to school or violent occurrences happening at school and analyzes the behavior associated with students reporting or not reporting. The study examines barriers that exist to help to explain why students would not report weapons or violent incidents to staff members or adults in the school district. The study surveyed 52 students from a secondary school with Likert-style survey questions. The questions were grouped into different variables such as demographics, academic success, relationship to the perpetrator, reporting frequencies, and knowledge of available school resources. This allowed the researcher to analyze any data trends from students who were willing to report violent occurrences or weapons being brought to school versus those who would not. The relationship between the victim/perpetrator and the potential reporting student was a statistically significant indicator of reporting behaviors. The fear of retaliation was also a statistically significant variable in students’ willingness to report. Lastly, the knowledge of available resources at school to report and whom to report to was statistically significant in comparing the groups of students who were willing to report versus those who were not. The findings of this study allow the school district to revisit or implement its school safety plans and procedures to add emphasis to educating students and staff about the importance of reporting. A suggested recommendation from the findings would also be to increase reporting methods and opportunities for students and to have continuous education on how to report within the school.