Research & Publications



School Safety and Mental Health Awareness: Recommendations from K-12 Texas Public School Teachers

Mass school shootings have created fear in the American public. The results of this fear have been the hardening of schools, lockdowns, and active shooter drills, yet the mass shootings have not ended. The goal of this study was to analyze the mental health awareness of K-12 public schools teachers in Texas with a goal to identify the connections between mental health awareness and school safety.

Lived Experiences of First-Year College Students During a Pandemic

The Novel Virus, COVID-19, changed many aspects of current lifestyles including school closures, remote learning, and shuttered businesses. Data generated from this study focused on how policy regarding the COVID-19 response for the university provided the supports needed for students. University response included mask mandates, remote learning, and limitations on all social activities. First year freshman students, who attended a 4-year institute in Southeast US, spent a year presenting their lived experiences of college life to researchers. Participants discussed the struggles and stress that the pandemic placed on their college experiences. Key results found that despite the many obstacles that the pandemic has caused, and limitations placed by safety policies, these students were demonstrating resilience to these obstacles and forging forward in their educational career.

"Difference in Preparedness: Do School Staff Feel Prepared for an Active Shooter or Attack?"

The 2020 Texas Educators’ Needs Assessment Regarding School Safety and Victims Services included responses from educators across the state of Texas regarding school safety. This needs assessment generated data that provided researchers with the unique opportunity to analyze the school safety issues in Texas (Fuller et al, 2020). The purpose of the study was to evaluate Texas K-12 educators responses to their school’s preparedness for an active attack or shooter using data from that needs assessment. To build a strong analysis, the results were separated into three categories: educator role; Texas school regions; and urbanicity. Pearson chi square statistical analysis was used to create an understanding of the data. The results of this analysis revealed a trend that a majority of K-12 educators felt prepared for an active attack or shooter.

The Results of the Educator Preparation Program COVID-19 Response Survey

The pandemic affected many professions around the nation, particularly those in healthcare and education. From schools closing to an entire year of virtual or hybrid teaching, current and future educators have faced many challenges. At Sam Houston State University, the Educator Preparation Program continued to work with Field Supervisors and Cooperating Teachers to train Pre-service Teachers despite the obstacles for the 2020-2021 academic school year. The purpose of this survey was to collect ideas about what worked in COVID-19 response and how the Pre-service Teacher training experience was impacted.