Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Marie Cianca, Ed.D.

Second Supervisor

Donna Riter, Ed.D.


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the level of collaboration and preparation between school administrators and police officers relating to trauma-informed practices with secondary school-aged students, including those students with traumatic histories. This study explored the perspectives of police officers and school administrators when working to address disciplinary situations of secondary school students. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) “Four Rs” of trauma—realization, recognition, response, and resisting retraumatization—were used as a framework to inform the study. Data were collected through individual, semi-structured interviews of secondary school principals and the corresponding police officers affiliated with their schools. Three major findings emerged from the study. First, principals and police work together differently in suburban, rural, and alternative education settings. Second, training related to trauma is absent in preservice learning and limited in existing training opportunities. Third, school administrators and police officers operate in distinct roles with principals assuming sole disciplinary responsibility and police acting as a mentor/counselor. This study provides recommendations for future research. The study also includes practice recommendations relating to collaboration around student needs, providing comprehensive traumainformed training, and formalizing roles and responsibilities of administrators and police officers in schools.

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