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ERIC Number: ED557107
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 119
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3212-7345-8
Administrators' and Teachers' Perceptions of Bullying and Bullying Policies in Middle Schools in Three South Carolina School Districts
Jordon, Kelly J.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, South Carolina State University
Our nation's schools are faced with numerous critical challenges and problems; meeting federal and state mandates, state standards, elevating academic achievement, increasing parental involvement, and violence in the schools (Gould, 2011; Kowalski & Cangemi, 2011; Simpson, LaCava, & Graner, 2004). Violence in many U.S. schools continues to be a critical and significant problem that must be addressed for the safety and well-being of all students. In response to an increase in school shootings, school violence in the United States has been linked to bullying; most states now require bullying prevention programs to implement in schools (Leff, Power, Costigan, & Manz, 2003). The subject of bullying has seen a resurgence of attention from school personnel, researchers, policy makers, and the general public as several isolated cases of student suicides have garnered national media attention (Neiman, Roberts, & Roberts, 2012). Although not a new problem, attention to bullying was inadequate until the school shooting at Columbine High School in April, 1999 (Allen, 2010). Even though school districts have vigorously adopted anti-bullying policies over the last decade, not much is known about cross-district similarities, differences, accountability, and effectiveness with federal and state policies. Individual school district policies are likely to vary according to local needs, resources, and student characteristics, a better understanding of shared characteristics and differences is a vital step in assessing the key components of bullying policy effectiveness. Research shows that cases of bullying are significantly higher in middle school than in elementary and high school (Pellegrini, 2002; Harris & Petrie, 2002). Bullying tends to peak in late childhood/early adolescence, making prevention and intervention efforts in middle school crucial (The National Center for Education Statistics, 2009; Brown, Birch & Kancherla 2005; Milsom & Gallo, 2006). School violence elevation has become a high priority among educators across the U. S., forcing educators to work diligently to increase school safety through the mandatory development of anti-bullying policies (Harris & Hawthorne, 2006). Based on a review of the literature on bullying, this study will address three research questions: (1) Is there a significant difference between administrators' and teachers' perceptions of bullying?, (2) Is there a significant difference between administrators' and teachers' perceptions of bullying by years of experience?, and (3) Is there a significant difference between administrators' and teachers' perceptions of bullying by gender? The purpose of this survey research was to gain insight into administrators and teachers perceptions of bullying in the middle schools to include existence of a school and district anti-bullying policy; accountability; policy effectiveness; and alignment with federal and state policy based on position, gender, and years of experience. The participants in this study were three school districts in the Low Country of South Carolina to include administrators (principals, assistant principals, guidance counselors, and curriculum coordinators) (18) and teachers (142) from the districts. A standardized survey instrument developed by Hellams (2008) was the basis for a survey on a random sample of administrators and teachers in the three school districts. The standardized survey instrument was modified with several items deleted and several pertinent survey items added based on the researcher's review of the literature. Permission from Hellams (2008) to use the instrument has been provided. All variables in this study were summarized by using frequency and descriptive statistics. Each research question was analyzed by using appropriate statistic tools such as t-test and Analysis of Variance (ANNOVA). A nineteen-item survey based on an extensive review of the literature with a five-point Likert scale was used to investigate administrators and teachers perceptions of bullying and bullying policies in the middle schools of South Carolina. The data was analyzed and reported in narrative form and charts. The findings of this study are located in Chapter V, which indicated that bullying is prevalent in the middle schools of South Carolina according to the perceptions of administrators and teachers. Further, it was determined that there was a significant difference in administrators' and teachers' perceptions on bullying and bullying policies based on position. However, there were no significant differences in administrators and teachers perceptions on bullying and bullying policies based on gender and years of experience. Even though each district and school surveyed indicated that there is an existing anti-bullying policy, other factors combined may be contributing to the ongoing problem of bullying in the schools. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina