Teachers With Handguns: A Qualitative Exploratory Multisite Instrumental Case Study

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Under Texas law, school districts are able to authorize trained teachers to carry concealed handguns as a deterrent to school gun violence. The study addressed a gap in research regarding teachers’ perceptions of school safety with the increased presence of handguns issued to teachers. The qualitative exploratory multisite instrumental case study utilized the transformational leadership theory as a theoretical framework. Transformational leadership theory was an appropriate framework because the theory focuses on leaders who share decision making with subordinates to increase productivity and an overall sense of ownership in a decision. Participating teachers answered three research questions regarding teachers’ perceptions of concealed handguns at school, the factors leading to teachers perceiving an increase in safety with teachers carrying concealed handguns, and desired prerequisites or qualifications for authorized teachers who are acting as school marshals or school guardians. By answering the three research questions, teacher perceptions at the three Texas high schools were better understood. Due to the lack of research, a qualitative exploratory case study research design was most suitable for the research. The representative sample included five teachers from three Texas high schools who best represented the average years as a teacher, age, gender, and race of the campus. At each school, the entire population of teachers was represented by the cross-section sample based on demographic data. During the face-to-face interviews, data were collected and then analyzed using NVivo 12 qualitative data review software. State and local school leaders may use the qualitative exploratory multisite instrumental case study when reviewing or adapting legislation or policies.
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