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Fear of School Shootings and Active Shooter Event Preparedness in the Rural South

Fri, Nov 20, 12:30 to 1:50pm, Hilton, Northwest, Lobby Level


In the aftermath of high profile school shootings like the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Americans’ fears of school violence increase and policymakers call for legislation to reduce the likelihood of a future event. However, little empirical research has evaluated levels of fear and perceptions of risk for school shootings, nor have perceptions of active shooter event preparedness been examined within rural communities. Since the Southern U.S. has the highest levels of violent crime, and rural areas have higher incidences of mass shootings, particularly in high schools and universities (Agnich, 2015), the purpose of this research is to evaluate active shooter response trainings provided by a police department for community members in a rural area of Southern Georgia. The active shooter training “Run, Hide, Fight,” was developed by the Department of Homeland Security and has been implemented nationwide. In the past two years, police in rural South Georgia have utilized this training for local communities. Survey data was collected before and after community trainings during 2014-2015 to determine participants’ fears of school shootings, and perceptions of active shooter event preparedness in a rural area of the South.


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