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Prevention and Intervention of Workplace Bullying in Schools

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Prevention and Intervention of Workplace Bullying in Schools
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Purpose of the Report

The goal of this paper is to review the literature on workplace bullying in order to gain a better understanding of the seriousness of this form of bullying, identify characteristics of the bullying, and summarize promising strategies for preventing or intervening in workplace bullying.

Primary Aims of the Report

  • AIM 1: Define workplace bullying.
  • AIM 2: Describe staff experiences with different forms of bullying.
  • AIM 3: Summarize characteristics and consequences of workplace bullying.
  • Aim 4: Summarize approaches for preventing workplace bullying.
  • Aim 5: Provide behavior support plans and suggested strategies for preventing and responding to workplace bullying.

Summary of Key Findings

  • Relatively few U.S. policies address issues of workplace bullying among educators.
  • There is some overlap among workplace bullying, physical victimization, and harassment. It is important to distinguish among these different types of maltreatment of educators.
  • Some educators may not feel comfortable disclosing incidents of workplace bullying.
  • Limited research has been conducted contrasting the experiences of workplace bullying among teachers compared to education support professionals (ESPs); however, the available research suggests that ESPs may be particularly vulnerable.
  • Few programs have been developed to address workplace bullying; however, effective student-focused bullying prevention programs may also reduce risks for educators.
  • Issues related to leadership and school climate may contribute to the occurrence of workplace bullying and educators’ willingness to report workplace bullying.
  • Certain individual characteristics and demographic factors may make some individuals more likely to be workplace bullied.

Conclusions and Implications

  • Professional development should be provided to teachers and ESPs to address issues of workplace bullying.
  • Educators need to learn their rights and reach out to the NEA and other organizations for support in addressing and responding to workplace bullying.
  • Policies should be expanded to directly address the issue of workplace bullying.
  • Additional research is needed to better understand the needs of teachers and ESPs related to the prevention of workplace bullying.