Roy E. Smith

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Stratton, Susan

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Rural schools--Security measures--Illinois--Public opinion; High school principals--Illinois--Attitudes


The purpose of this quantitative study was to elicit the opinions of rural Illinois high school principals about design elements that influence interpersonal violence and promote student safety and security. This was accomplished through the use of a survey with 50 core questions. Respondents were first asked if they perceived an item as adequate or inadequate in the building in which they are currently principal. They were then asked to respond to the same questions on whether the item was a priority for them in their present circumstances. Demographic data collected demonstrated respondents' rural districts had high school populations of from 45–1,323 students (mean = 348). Principal tenure in the building was 1–28 years (mean = 5.08). The researcher completed a review of literature to develop the survey database and made a comparative analysis of current literature to the respondent's answers. Through the literature review, the researcher was able to group the survey questions into four main themes. Those themes were centered on the building site, the building exterior, the building design, and building systems and equipment. In the analysis, the researcher developed tables to assist in the accurate representation of the opinions of rural high school principals in Illinois. Those tables include: Frequency Table, Contingency Analysis Using Exact Fisher Test, Principal Components Table-Adequate, Principal Components Table-High Priority, and Principal Components Table-Adequate/High Priority Mix. The analysis demonstrated that rural high school principals in Illinois are satisfied their buildings provide a safe and secure environment for their students. Visual monitoring, supervision of students, and communication between the classrooms and office are more common than the use of high-technology devices. The use of metal detection devices, security card systems, and biometric devices are listed as low priority items and deemed unnecessary by principals in rural schools.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [122]-125).


viii, 176 pages




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