Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Peter P. Kiriakidis


Bullying behaviors can have lasting adverse consequences for teachers, victims, offenders, and bystanders. Teachers are often not prepared with the knowledge required for appropriate interventions. The purpose of this study was to understand teachers' perceptions of bullying in one of the largest urban school districts in the United States. Guided by Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory, which holds that individuals impact and should be impacted by various environmental systems around them, the study was focused on teachers' understanding of detection and intervention of bullying in the school setting. A qualitative single case study design was used. Fifteen urban, middle school teachers who reported having experience with bullying behaviors were recruited using purposive sampling. Data were collected through 60-minute, individual, semistructured interviews and a review of documents pertaining to bullying. Data were analyzed employing Braun's and Clarke's thematic analysis. All data were examined for patterns or commonalities across the various sources for emergent themes. The themes that emerged are signs of bullying, difficulty in identifying bullying, confidence in identifying bullying, initial steps to intervene, confidence in intervening, school policies and initiatives, perceptions of regulations and initiatives, and need for education and training. Teachers' perceptions may reflect an understanding of school bullying that involves a range of factors, including individual, school, community, and familial elements. Results of this study may support social change by serving as a basis for professional development for preparing teachers to recognize and intervene in school bullying, thereby allowing students to learn in nonthreatening school environments.

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