Masters Thesis

Teachers' Experiences with Student Bullying in Continuation High Schools

Bullying exists throughout the education system, though focus in research and discussions of bullying among students within public education are mostly placed on such interactions within the context of traditional K-12 education. While extant research examines the negative impacts that bullying produces for victims and bullies in the traditional school settings, there is a gap in literature examining bullying that occurs in continuation high schools. Additionally, there is a lack of information regarding how teachers may understand, view, and/or respond to bullying within the classroom. The current research draws on 10 in-depth, semi-structured qualitative interviews with teachers at continuation high schools to better understand their experiences with intrastudent bullying. Findings suggest that bullying occurs to achieve power and social status among students. Teachers situate bullying within a gendered context and, as a result, perceive incidents differently among male and female students. The results confirm extant research suggesting that teachers may become normalized to bullying interactions; however, findings expand on this literature by demonstrating how teacher intervention in bullying varies depending on how teachers define bullying, view the context of bullying, and whether they perceive their role as being both an educator and an interventionist.

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