Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Jenelle Braun-Monegan

Abstract

Student self-report surveys showed bullying behaviors were problematic among students in one Midwest middle school. Despite implementing a version of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, students continued to self-report bullying behaviors that occurred on school property during school hours. It is crucial that educators are proactive in intervening and preventing bullying to establish a safe environment for academic success. The purpose of this study was to describe teachers' perceptions of bullying behaviors and their practices in reporting bullying incidents. Bandura's social learning and Locke's social contract theories served as the study's framework. Teachers were asked to describe behaviors they perceived as bullying and their practices in reporting bullying incidents. A qualitative, bounded, descriptive case study was used to collect interview data from 12 purposefully selected classroom teachers who were tasked with bullying intervention and prevention. Thematic analysis using the lean, open coding strategy was used to analyze the data. Teachers reported observing physical, verbal, and cyber bullying behaviors, credited their bullying knowledge to schoolwide professional development (PD), and believed they recognized bullying behaviors when incidents occurred. Teachers also reported bullying incidents to the principal and to parents if they had a positive relationship with them. Based on these findings, a 4-day PD was designed for teachers to collaboratively develop uniform practices in reporting bullying incidents to parents or guardians. These endeavors may contribute to positive social change by equipping teachers with procedures in reporting bullying incidents; thus, reducing bullying, improving the learning environment, and creating a safer school culture for teachers and students.