Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Sophie Filibert

Second Advisor

Dr. Christopher Janson

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul Parkison

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Angela Mann


School violence and mass school shootings are increasing at an alarming rate in our nation (Arnold, 2015; Ash & Sanders, 2018; Baird, Roellke, & Zeifman, 2017; Beland & Kim, 2016; De Apodaca, Brighton, Perkins, Jackson, & Steege, 2012; Duplechain & Morris, 2016; Elliott, 2015; Gerard, Whitefield, Porther, & Browne, 2016; Haan & Mays, 2013; Jonson, 2017). Institutions of learning that were once deemed safe and sacred have turned into metaphorical and literal battlegrounds (Jonson, 2017). As a result of the increased risk of mass school shootings many states have implemented laws to assist in implementing more rigid safety measures within the school setting, this is often referred to as school hardening. There has been research conducted regarding the effectiveness of these school hardening campaigns and it seems that these school hardening campaigned are counter intuitive to what their purpose serves (Cuellar et al., 2018; Lamoreaux & Sulkowski, 2019; Mann & Brock, 2020).

This dissertation is a Q methodological study that aims to explore the perspectives of recent high school graduates on the effect that school hardening campaigns had on their K-12 experiences. These perceptions were collected form 61 participants that sorted a Q Sort with 37 items in the Q Set. Data analysis was conducted and themes from the analysis were fashioned and dissected. From these factor profiles, recommendations for future research and implementation strategies were suggested.