From the Thesis Abstract: "School violence is a consistent problem that cannot be underestimated by government and school officials. Though pervasive and ever-changing, current school safety initiatives are not always effective. This thesis explores how schools can take advantage of a dog's therapeutic and security instincts to improve existing school safety initiatives. To assess fittingness, the thesis first explores research that indicates there is an evolutionary bond between humankind and dogs, which--when paired with dogs' general and emotional intelligence--makes them a perfect candidate for the school safety platform. The thesis then presents data to suggest that therapy and police dogs are equally suitable to improve school safety initiatives. Finally, the thesis details a theoretical observational study that demonstrates the practicality and benefits of pairing a therapy dog with a school resource officer. The findings reveal that dogs could be an added layer to improve current school safety initiatives. A dog's security instincts can bolster school resource officers' crime-prevention capabilities and also enhance or replace other physical security measures, like metal detectors. Furthermore, a dog's therapeutic abilities can provide stress relief and can strengthen a school resource officer's informal counseling skills, which may help the officer develop much-needed rapport with troubled students."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/