This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Analysis of Alabama School Systems' Policy on Student Bullying




Townsend, Carolyn

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of this study was to determine the present status of bullying policies in Alabama and to compare local educational agency’s ( LEA’s) policies with state and national guidelines. A secondary purpose was to identify districts that had exemplary policies and to discover what factors were involved in fostering their ability to create these policies. The researcher performed a content analysis of the policies using Alabama’s Student Harassment Act and the U.S. Department of Education’s identified key bullying policy components. Content analysis results revealed a majority (84%) of the policies were inclusive of all of Alabama’s Student Harassment Prevention Act key components. No additional components were included in the construction of these policies. Further content analysis results indicated an insignificant number (.008%) of policies included the U.S. Department of Education identified 13 components suggested for use in formulating bullying policies. Only three systems out of the 131 policies analyzed were identified as exceeding the minimum criteria set by the Alabama Department of Education’s model policy. Data collected during the interview process of the three systems exceeding minimum standards revealed three common distinct factors influencing policy development. These factors were committee diversity, seriousness of bullying, and high expectations.