Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jerita Whaley


In a local suburban K-8 school in California, administrators and teachers were concerned when more than half of the fifth- and seventh-grade students indicated on the California Healthy Kids Survey that they do not feel safe at school. Researchers have noted that using a professional learning community (PLC) model in schools may assist with addressing bullying. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore teachers' and administrators' responses to incidences of bullying and the PLC processes used to address such incidents in their school. The conceptual framework for this study was Hord's dimensions of the PLC. Data were collected through individual interviews with 8 fifth- through eighth-grade teachers and 2 administrators. The collected data were open coded and analyzed to reveal themes that addressed the research questions. The findings indicated that teachers and administrators expressed a need for more opportunities for collaboration, required additional professional development to address bullying, and had varying views on strategies to address bullying situations. Recommendations include providing more collaboration time and additional training for teachers and administrators on responses to bullying within a PLC. This study may affect positive social change by providing research findings supporting the preparation of teachers and administrators at the study site to address bullying situations by following more closely the processes of a PLC. This information might positively affect school climate and students' feelings of safety at the school.

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