A Comparison of Principals' and Counselors' Definitions and Views of Bullying

Open Access
Author:
Fisher, Amber Lynn
Area of Honors:
Elementary and Kindergarten Education (Berks/Lehigh)
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • David Bender, Thesis Supervisor
  • Sandy Feinstein, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • urban
  • suburban
  • bullying
  • Olweus
  • definition
  • perceptions
  • principals
  • counselors
  • dealing with bullying
Abstract:
This study came about from a conversation with a suburban principal and a suburban counselor about their views on bullying. The principal had a very different view than the school counselor about the definitions of bullying and what bullying really is. I researched how principals and counselors in suburban and urban school settings deal with bullying situations and how they view bullying in their schools. Distribution and collection of the questionnaires took place beginning in March and ended in August 2012. Twenty-two suburban principals and school counselors and urban principals and school counselors took part in this study. A questionnaire consisting of 12 questions was electronically sent to all participants. One of the significant findings was that most principals believe bullying can be persistent or a one-time event whereas most counselors believe bullying is persistent only. Furthermore, participants wanted to know if the victim was responsible for the bullying. Another significant finding was that most principals believed it was the counselors’ responsibility to work with the victim and bully. The principals primarily believed in punishing the bully and obtaining information from the victim. Also, most school counselors believed that bullying is consistent only and principals believed bullying can be consistent and a one-time event. Furthermore, the school policies are in line with the Olweus definition of bullying. Finally, suburban schools teach children more about bystander intervention than urban schools.