Safety, advocacy, and the teacher’s role: Pre-service teachers and school shooting policies

May Hara


In this qualitative case study, I examine pre-service teachers’ experiences with school shooting policy.  Analysis of individual interviews, group discussions and reflective memos with pre-service teachers (n=7) in seven Massachusetts districts shows that pre-service teachers, while deeply concerned about the possibility of school shootings, viewed existing policies as ineffective, damaging to their pedagogical practice and relationships with students, and out of step with teachers’ concerns. Further, they interpreted proposed policies as undermining the value of teachers in contemporary society and threatening the core tenets of teachers’ work. Constrained by limited professional development around policy involvement, pre-service teachers expressed significant doubts about their ability to effect meaningful policy change. This research has implications for educational policy and teacher policy involvement.


educational policy; school policy; school safety; teacher role

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Copyright (c) 2020 May Hara


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