Keywords

cyberbullying, cyberbullying policies, Internet bullying, electronic bullying and harassment, electronic aggression, technology, bullying

Abstract

This study investigated the issue of student cyberbullying in Florida's public middle schools. First, a content analysis of six Florida school district anti-bullying policies was conducted to determine the alignment between the state model policy and district policies. Next, 68 middle school principals from the same six Florida school districts completed the Cyberbullying Policies and Response Principal Survey online. Survey respondents were either members or non-members of the state mentoring team against bullying and harassment. Findings showed that all six school districts' anti-bullying policies were comprehensive in addressing the definitions of bullying behaviors, to include cyberbullying, as well as for reporting and responding to bullying incidents. However, it was found that improvements could be made concerning periodic review and updating of bullying policies as well as addressing issues of inclusiveness. Additionally, it was found that the middle school principals were generally aware of the seriousness of cyberbullying regardless of their membership status on the state mentoring team against bullying and harassment. They enforced both technology and bullying policies to prevent and respond to student cyberbullying. This was done either by their own initiative or as directed by the school districts. It was also discovered that principals were sensitive to the fact that students at their schools had been cybervictims, cyberbullies, or both. Moreover, principals believed that a majority of those activities occurred off-campus. It remains, though, uncertain as to what factors influence whether or not a school has a campus specific cyberbullying policy. However, principals conveyed an understanding that education about and enforcement of cyberbullying policies was imperative. Hence, more research is needed to determine how educators can continue to confront this type of adolescent aggression both on and off-campus.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2010

Advisor

Taylor, Rose

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College

College of Education

Department

Educational Research, Technology and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0003174

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0003174

Language

English

Release Date

August 2010

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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