A CASE STUDY OF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES TO ADDRESS CYBERBULLYING AT A TECHNOLOGY-BASED MIDDLE SCHOOL
ABSTRACT BETTINA POLITE TATE A CASE STUDY OF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES TO ADDRESS CYBERBULLYING AT A TECHNOLOGY-BASED MIDDLE SCHOOL Under the direction of OLIVIA M. BOGGS, Ed. D. This qualitative case study explored the policies and procedures used to effectively address cyberbullying at a technology-based middle school. The purpose of the study was to gain an in-depth understanding of policies and procedures used to address cyberbullying at a technology-based middle school in the southern United States. The study sought to understand educators’ experience with addressing the problem. The study explored how educators discipline students for cyberbullying, the actions they take to protect students who are cyberbullied, and the actions they take to decrease or prevent cyberbullying in their schools. Further, the study explored the challenges educators face and the procedures they follow to address and prevent cyberbullying at a technology-based middle school. The study was guided by the question, what policies and procedures are in place to effectively address cyberbullying at a technology based middle school? Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory and John Rawls’ Social Justice Theory were used to as a guide to explain cyberbullying and how the phenomenon is addressed. Data were collected through open ended interview protocol with the school’s principal, assistant principal, and counselors, focus groups with teachers, and a document analysis of relevant school and school district documents. Data analysis revealed major findings aligned to nine distinct themes: 1. Address Incidents Immediately, 2. Be Proactive: Students Are Taught Netiquette, 3. Challenges, 4. Consistent Procedures When Addressing Cyberbullying, 5. Counselors are Key People, 6. Discipline for the Cyberbully is Incremental and Progressive, 7. Protect the Victim, 8. Loving School Culture, and 9. Teachers are the Frontline. The conclusions drawn from the research findings presented in Chapter 4 and discussed in Chapter 5 suggest that utilizing policies and procedures suggested by the nine themes are effective in addressing cyberbullying at a technology based middle school. The policies and procedures used by the school were aligned to the current research about cyberbullying and how the phenomenon should be addressed by educators. Implications for future research include exploring the policies and procedures at different education levels, from the perceptions of parents and students, and among multiple cases.
Tate, Bettina Polite