Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Russell F. West

Committee Members

Cecil N. Blankenship, Louise L. MacKay, Terrence A. Tollefson


In today's schools bullies have the power to be more tenacious, more vicious, and meaner than ever. We are all beginning to understand that victims of bullying are at a greater risk for depression, suicide, and hurting others through violent acts. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate common threads of effective Bully-Free School Zone character education programs as perceived by administrators, teachers, and parents in five middle schools in Western North Carolina. Through this strategic inquiry, I attempted to determine if the views of administrators, teachers, and parents were consistent with published research on anti-bullying programs.

Specifically, the study focused on views of administrators, teachers, and parents of middle school students in grades five through eight by examining perceptions of the impact of bullying on students' safety. Participants shared their concerns about barriers to discipline programs and how school personnel and parents can contribute to a safer and more productive environment. The study was conducted in five middle schools in Western North Carolina. All participants were interviewed and asked open-ended questions during a three-week period in the spring of 2004.

The study supports the hypothesis that well disciplined and productive anti-bullying programs are not products of good luck or chance; they result from efforts made by caring administrators, teachers, parents, and students. All stakeholders should have an interest in changing behaviors that lead to aggressive and violent acts. Exerting extra efforts toward minimizing disruptions and providing safer schools requires a team effort in working toward a common goal that students enter the building each day excited, enthused, and looking forward to their school day.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.