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Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dennis C. Brennan

First Committee Member

Harriett B. Arnold

Second Committee Member

Alice N. Winczer

Third Committee Member

Antonio G. Serna

Fourth Committee Member

Mari G. Irvin

Abstract

The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine if public school districts in California have policies which manage student-to-student sexual harassment in grades four through eight according to established criteria. Seven general questions were generated from the literature review and then subdivided into 23 specific questions. In the policy analysis, it was determined whether each of the 23 variables was included and how explicitly the information was stated according to a five-point Likert scale. It also was noted whether school district student sexual harassment policies matched the wording of the California School Boards Association sample policy on each item. The policies of 118 school districts from 14 central California counties were analyzed. Written surveys also were collected from the 118 districts and provided background information. Variables included the range of grades within districts (K-12/Adult, K-12, K-8, K-6, and 7-12), site of district, and location (urban, suburban, or rural). In addition, ten district administrators were contacted in telephone interviews. They were asked questions about the extent of student-to-student sexual harassment in their district and the effectiveness of their policies. Administrators also were questioned about the type and extent of preventive training provided by their district for students and staff members. There were no major differences between policies when analyzed by grade range, location, or size, and the analysis shows that even the best policies did not contain all the information which was recommended in the literature review. Four policies were assigned a rating of "good." There were 55 policies that were considered "average," 50 policies which were labeled "poor" and 10 policies which were "very poor." It was recommended that school administrators review their existing policies and revise them as necessary to reflect the findings of this study. It is further recommended that more extensive preventive training should be given to staff members and students. Further research should be done to determine how explicit student sexual harassment policies are in the other 44 California counties as well as school districts in other states.

Pages

379

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