Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Wade C. Smith Jr.


Teachers in elementary schools are often faced with countless disruptive bullying behaviors, which cause them to lose valuable classroom instruction time. In addition, bullying victims have shown a decline in academic success as compared to students who are not bullied. The purpose of this qualitative bounded case study was to explore teachers' understanding and awareness of bullying behaviors and policies at the elementary school level, particularly in an elementary school in a southeastern state that has experienced large increases in student disruptive behavior over the past 2 school years. Bandura's social cognitive theory served as the conceptual framework. Semi-structured interview data were collected from a purposeful sample of 8 certified teachers at the school who taught students in Grades 3 through 5 during the past 2 school years. Open and axial coding procedures were utilized to discover themes based on teachers' perceptions of bullying, interventions and regulations. The findings revealed that teachers struggled with recognizing bullying behaviors, were unsure of the policies and procedures related to reporting bullying incidents, and their confidence levels were low when handling bullying behavior. Findings reflected components of Bandura's social cognitive theory in that individuals with high levels of perceived competence were motivated to set goals and complete tasks. A professional development workshop was created to provide teachers with the necessary tools to assist them in recognizing, responding, and reporting bullying incidents. Positive social change might occur from promoting bullying awareness among teachers and creating a positive impact on teaching, student learning, and the overall school environment at the local level.