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School Culture Benchmarks: Bridges and Barriers to Successful Bullying Prevention Program Implementation

NCJ Number
Journal of School Violence Volume: 7 Issue: 2 Dated: 2008 Pages: 105-122
H. Elizabeth Coyle
Date Published
18 pages
This case study attempts to identify the school culture characteristics that support or interfere with implementation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program based on the perceptions of key school staff.
A number of positive school culture characteristics seemed to support and nurture successful initiation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program at Hayworth Junior High School: collegial trust and collaboration, philosophical coherence among faculty, a sense of collective responsibility for student welfare, and a balance between academic concerns and student care. Findings suggest that schools should consider closely examining the preexisting characteristics of its culture when deciding to implement the program and when choosing the timing of initiation. In addition, the findings suggest that closer attention should be paid to the meshing process in future investigations of effective program implementation to determine if these conditions are relevant in other schools as well. A substantial body of research indicates that positive school culture benchmarks are integrally tied to the success of school reform and change in general. In addition, emerging research suggests a similar role for school culture in effective implementation of school violence prevention and intervention efforts. However, minimal research is available focusing on the elements of school culture that promotes the successful implementation of bullying intervention programs. This investigation explores the feasibility of constructing a readiness scale for schools considering implementation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, a revitalized program now experiencing success in its second year of implementation. Table, references