Middle School Principals' Responses to Bullying: Comparing School Bullying Incidents and Their Perceived Seriousness
AuthorHurley, Cynthia Tallis
Middle School Principals
Principal Perceptions of Bullying
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractResearch on principals' perceptions and responses to school bullying is scarce. This study investigated the perceptions of seven middle school principals and their responses to six hypothetical vignettes depicting incidents of physical, verbal, or relational bullying. During interviews, respondents were asked to rate the seriousness of each incident and describe how they would respond. Respondents rated all the incidents, regardless of the form of bullying, as moderately serious, serious, or very serious. When asked to describe how they would respond to incidents, all responded they would take action (e.g., consequences for the instigator, interventions to change the behavior of the instigator, support for the target). State statute on bullying, school anti-bullying policies, past experience with bullying, and a belief that students deserve to feel safe were key to guiding their responses. The principals recognized that bullying occurred on their campuses but indicated that incidents were minimized as a result of their strong school anti-bullying polices and a belief that no form of bullying was to be tolerated on their campuses.
Degree ProgramGraduate College