Date of Award

Summer 7-12-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Barbara Strobert, Ed.D

Committee Member

Gerald Babo, Ed.D

Committee Member

Judith Springer, Psy.D.

Committee Member

Michael Osnato, Ed.D

Keywords

bullying, new jersey, anti-bullying, laws, administrators

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the 2011 New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (NJAB) and its perceived impact on urban school districts. Through a series of interviews with 16 participants from three urban school districts in New Jersey, the researcher sought to examine if those charged with implementing the NJAB have deemed the law and its requirements effective. The interviews were conducted with NJAB- mandated Anti-Bullying Specialists for each of the schools that participated in the study. The Anti-Bullying Specialists are the staff members in each school who are responsible for the implementation of the NJAB, district policies on bullying, and conducting bullying investigations.
Data collected from this qualitative study add to the growing body of literature on the topic of bullying prevention strategies and specifically on the role that state and local policies play in helping to curtail bullying in schools. A review of the responses and data indicated that the Anti-Bullying Specialists interviewed for this study collectively have a firm grasp on the process by which bullying incidents should be investigated. Additionally, the data identified that while the law indicates that bullying prevention initiatives should take place throughout the curriculum in addition to the mandated Week of Respect, there seems to be relatively little infusion of the bullying prevention pedagogy within the schools and districts that were participants in this study. Last, the participants, all of whom work at traditional (Grades 9-12) high schools, indicated that the bulk of bullying incidents occur in their freshman population first and sophomores population second. They also indicated that there is a steep decline in incidents and reporting at the junior and senior grade levels.

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