Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Dane Joseph, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Marc Shelton, Ed.D.


The purpose of the study was to learn the enabling conditions for implementation of a safety system in a Southern California school district. One high school piloted this safety system while focusing their attention to document, investigate, and reduce the number of fight and prefight incidents involving students. Although the intended outcome was to reduce these safety incidents, the intended learning of this study was to understand how the district could adapt the safety system model.

Pilot participants were interviewed and asked to share successes and challenges with regards to each of the four main model components: (a) reporting safety events using a safety events log, (b) investigating the root causes of the safety event and pulling support from leaders when necessary, (c) identifying a solution(s) to mitigate and prevent the safety event, and (d) collecting effective solutions on a system-wide level to reduce the occurrence of safety events.

Findings included themes of success related to empowering front-line and school-based teams to solve pervasive problems of safety with the sponsorship of district leadership, structuring a supportive problem-solving process, and the promise of solving some problems versus mitigating pervasive issues. Some challenges implementing the model included safety incident reporting conflicts with state expectations, time needed to draw stakeholders into the problem-solving process, and the ability to attend to systemic reform as opposed to more punitive practices that blame individuals. The implication is the school will need to substantially adapt the model components, related processes, and create routines that acknowledge and appreciate the needs of people engaging in the work.

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