School Safety: A Focus on Teachers and Administrators - Breakout Session, NIJ Virtual Conference on School Safety
On February 16-18, 2021, the National Institute of Justice hosted the Virtual Conference on School Safety: Bridging Research to Practice to Safeguard Our Schools. This video includes the following presentations:
Longitudinal Research on Violence Directed against Teachers: Prevalence, Negative Consequences and School Responses, Byongook Moon and John McCluskey
Few longitudinal studies have been conducted to examine the prevalence of teacher victimization, the extent of negative consequences, and school administrators' responses to victimization. The present research investigates the scope of seven different types of teacher victimization, negative consequences of teacher victimization, and victimized teachers' satisfaction with school responses. The findings indicate that teacher victimization is highly prevalent and has negative effects on victimized teachers' emotional and physical well-being. Finally, findings show that a substantial proportion of victimized teachers who reported the incident to the school were dissatisfied with the schools' handling of their victimization.
Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of PreK-12 Students by School Personnel: A Policy Implementation Study, Billie-Jo Grant
This session will review school employee sexual misconduct - the abuse of students by school personnel - by examining (1) the state of the problem, and (2) the results of a Department of Justice School Safety study, School Employee Sexual Misconduct Policy Implementation and Effectiveness, the first federally funded study of the topic since 2004. The results will describe how multiple geographically and demographically diverse U.S. districts defined, interpreted, and implemented policies before and after incidents of school employee sexual misconduct. Best practices and a checklist for how to more effectively prevent and respond to cases of misconduct will be presented.
Teacher Perceptions of School Safety and Climate, Jennifer Maeng
Teachers and administrators play a vital role in promoting school safety and a positive school climate. In this presentation, we review findings from our 2018 NIJ project "Improvement of School Climate Assessment in Virginia Secondary Schools." We will review results from the Virginia Secondary School Climate Surveys and report how middle and high school teacher perceptions of school safety are associated with their concerns about administrative responsiveness, their positive perceptions of school resource officers, and their mixed support for zero tolerance disciplinary practices. We will describe how teachers and administrators use climate reports to improve their school climate. Implications for policy and practice will be discussed.
Coaching and Mixed-Reality Practice to Improve Teachers’ Detection and Prevention of and Intervention with Bullying in Middle School Classrooms, Elise Pas and Catherine Bradshaw
This study presents findings from a 4o middle school randomized controlled trial testing the impact of training and coaching in the three-tiered PBIS model, which was integrated with social-emotional learning and related preventive interventions. Consistent with a multi-tiered system of supports framework, schools used data on school climate and social-emotional learning to select from a menu of evidence-based preventive interventions. Coaches provided training and technical assistance on the preventive interventions, data-based decision-making, and the multi-tiered system of supports framework. Impacts on school climate and implementation data suggest the promise of the model in middle schools, which extends prior work in high schools.
>> ...schedule now, so it's John, Billie-Jo, Jen and Elise.
>> Thank you.
I'm Phelan Wyrick with the National Institute of Justice.
I'm a Division Director for the Research and Evaluation Division.
It's my pleasure to moderate this session.
This session is focused on teachers and administrators, and we have four presentations today.
The first presentation will be on longitudinal research on violence directed against teachers, prevalence, negative consequences and school responses.
That presentation will be delivered by John McCluskey.
Oh, I'm so sorry, I just dropped my page out.
Our second -- Pardon me.
Our second presentation will be on "Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Pre-K-Through-12 Students by School Personnel, A Policy Implementation Study," by Billie-Jo Grant, and the third presentation will be "Teacher Perceptions of School Safety and Climate," by Jennifer Meng, and the fourth presentation will be "Coaching and Mixed Reality Practice to Improve Teacher's Detection and Prevention of and Intervention with Bullying in Middle School Classrooms," by Elise Paz and Katherine Bradshaw.
So I will turn it now to our first presenter, John McCluskey.
John? >> Thanks, Phelan.
Good afternoon, everyone.
I'm John McCluskey, and I'm presenting today on behalf of Dr. Byongook Moon, who I am sure would rather be here than dealing with weather in Texas.
We'll be discussing results of the longitudinal research on violence directed against teachers, prevalence, negative consequences and school responses, and this is research that was supported by two NIJ awards and a third that has recently been...
extended the research to a national scope.
All are led by Dr. Moon as principal investigator, so you could think of me generously as his caddie.
I'm having a little trouble with -- Oh, there we go.
So this conference attests to the importance of understanding and gauging school violence and responses to it.
At the time of our initial proposal, relatively few empirical studies had been conducted to understand prevalence and negative consequences of teacher victimization in the US.
Among those conducted, results show that teacher victimization was relatively widespread and, unsurprisingly, had negative impacts on those teachers who were victimized.
For example, a Virginia study had found that about 43 percent of sampled teachers reported experiencing verbal abuse.
About 15 percent were victims of theft, and about 1 percent were subject to severe physical assault, and, to the best of our knowledge, we are not aware of any longitudinal research examining the trend or persistence of teacher victimization, negative consequences and school responses to teacher victimization.
So to begin, we will discuss the design of our research briefly, and then today's presentation will focus on three substantive research areas.
The first, prevalence of seven different kinds of teacher victimization.
Second, negative impacts, including physical and emotional distress and job performance, and, finally, if time permits, we will hope to examine teacher's satisfaction with school responses and the association of that satisfaction with procedural justice.
So as mentioned, the project collected and analyzed data from a 4-year longitudinal research design sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, and we used web-based data collection to leverage the resources, and we aimed at participation and retention starting in spring of 2016 with the sample and ending the fourth wave in the spring of 2019.
So the research site was one metropolitan area in Texas, and stratified random sampling across schools was used to select participants, so selected teachers were then invited to participate through a web-based Qualtrics survey.
Figure one illustrates wave one data collection that was completed in June of 2016, where we first collected data from 1,628 teachers, drawn from 120 middle schools and high schools.
At an interval of about a year, wave two data collection was implemented, and we had 1,317 participants in wave two, and you can see that we've broken up the waves into blue bars and gray bars, and the blue bars are people that continued on into the teaching career, and the gray bars are people who either left the career or had retired, so you can look and examine sort of the retention level, and if you add the gray bar on top of the blue bar, you can see we got about 80 percent of the retention rate, which is one of the aims of this research is to try to keep people in the survey as long as possible.
So that forms the basis for the discussion that we'll have here in this talk.
Here's a little bit about the sociodemographic characteristics of teachers quickly.
Teacher gender mirrors population of teachers with about 71 percent being female.
The race-ethnicity breakdown is a little surprising, perhaps, because we've got 42 percent Hispanic teachers, but the metropolitan area where we did our research was a majority Hispanic, so the numbers are reflecting that reality.
And, finally, the breakdown in terms of schools: We sampled middle schools and high schools, and so we have 52 percent from middle schools, and 48 percent are high school teachers.
So the first substantive question that we said we would talk about is prevalence, and we measured and asked victims about seven different types of victimization during the 12 month period prior to the survey.
So the findings in figure two are showing a high prevalence of victimization consistent with the prior findings that we were able to examine, and they're particularly prevalent among what might be considered some of the lower serious types of events, including verbal abuse, which was experienced by 44 percent of teachers who were responding in wave one, noncontact aggression, that is, people -- students throwing or kicking objects in front of teachers whereas more serious victimization events such as physical assault and sexual harassment happened less frequently, but still at 8 percent and 11 percent for those in our sample.
So one of the questions you might have is, "Well, what does this look like across four waves?" That's a good question.
So figure three shows a trend of victimization from waves one through four.
The results indicate that relatively less severe victimization, as mentioned, such as verbal abuse and nonphysical contact aggression, were most common, so the verbal abuse being about 45 percent on the top line in purple -- I'm using a touchpad here for the first time -- and the nonphysical contact aggression being around 29 percent eventually and being here in blue.
Those are the most frequent, and the relatively more severe victimizations, physical assault ranges from about 5 to 8 percent, sexual harassment from 6 to 11 percent were relatively less prevalent.
So regarding the trends here, I think the prevalence of teacher victimization gives us some sense of of continuity or stability and change, right? The prevalence of victimization for verbal abuse, cyberbullying and physical assault on this chart look like they're relatively stable from waves ones through four among those that are in the sample, and, in contrast, if we think about theft and vandalism, nonphysical contact aggression, in-person bullying, these were leveling off waves one through three and then decreased notably from three to four.
So we have some findings here about sort of teachers' trends, experience.
Next, I had mentioned that we were hoping to talk a little bit about negative consequences of teacher victimization, and we want to talk about three reported by teachers in our sample: physical distress, emotional distress and job performance.
So, in wave one, we measured who among teachers reported experiencing victimization in the last year, and we identified a sizable number, 959, or almost six out of every 10, who experienced at least one of the seven victimizations we mentioned previously, and among those 959, we asked if, as a consequence of any victimization, they experienced negative physical or psychological consequences, so here, you see figure four as six specific physical consequences reported by teachers who experienced at least one victimization of any type, and so what do we see here in summary? Well, about three in 10 teachers who experienced at least one victimization also reported experiencing sleep trouble, fatigue and/or back pain as a consequence, and a little more than one in five reported that they had headaches and/or upset stomachs attributable to the victimization experience, so clearly teachers are experiencing extensive physical responses that they attribute to victimization events.
Now, what are the psychological impacts for victimized teachers? Well, here we move on to those subreports with questions that were probing psychological distress that might accompany the seven types of victimization measured in wave one, and what do we see on this slide? Well, clearly, anger is the dominant response reported by six and 10, so you can see that here, but about one in three or more are reporting depression, anxiety and/or feeling unsafe, so we're dealing with a very large proportion of teachers reporting and describing to their victimization a sizable number of negative psychological consequences that are consistent with distress postvictimization, so the transition point here is to also think about the number of teachers that are contemplating quitting the career here in the righthand-most bar.
Slightly more than one in four are thinking about quitting based on the experience of victimization, so that leads us to a slightly different question, given the ubiquity of negative consequences.
What are teachers assessments, self-assessments, regarding victimizations' impact on their job performance? So we see that one in four are thinking about quitting.
What do they think about just the generalized impact of victimization on job performance? And we see that on this slide disaggregated by the seven different types of victimization, and here you can see the comparison across each one of those victimizations, so I'll just stop here for a second and show you along the bottom are the number of people in wave one that reported this type of victimization, so, again, of the sample of about 1,600, 427 reported being victimized by a theft in the last year, and of those 427, 21 percent agreed that the victimization had a negative impact on job performance, so theft is showing the lowest level of impact on this chart.
Physical assault victims in wave one, 125, 45 percent report negative impact of job performance, and I think, thinking about my colleagues on the panel, if we go over here to bullying of -- And this is bullying of teachers, we see that 109 experience cyberbullying and 236 experienced in-person bullying in that one year, and about half of them say that this had some deleterious impact on their job performance, so what we would have here maybe is thinking about the chronic nature of that kind of victimization on some of the job performance that teachers are talking about.
Okay, so the other substantive area that we wanted to focus on a little bit with this talk is the idea of the school response and teacher satisfaction, and I'll talk a little bit about who reports their victimization to school, and then I'll talk a little bit about teacher's satisfaction with school responses and, if possible, a little bit about procedural justice.
I'm looking at the time here.
So I've got 2 minutes for this.
So what gets reported to the school administration? So -- Oops, I'm sorry.
What we have observed before this are teachers' reports to us as researchers, right, that they've experienced these events.
Now we've asked them, "If you experienced a theft, did you report this to the administration?" and each of these bars, again, at the bottom access tells you how many people in that first wave experienced it, and then it tells you the percentage of teachers that are indicating they reported this victimization to their administration, and -- Oops.
Sorry about that again, I have this touchpad.
And what you can see here is the administration becomes alerted to the majority of victimization that we've measured in this study.
The most frequently being reported is physical assaults, with 87 percent reported, and the least frequent is in-person bullying at 52 or 53 percent.
So the administration becomes aware of these events is the takeaway from that finding, and now I want to talk a little bit about teacher satisfaction with serious victimization incidents measured waves two through four.
So here we have a set of 638 events that were reported to school administration, and it's very important to distinguish this in terms of being victimization incidents and not as individuals that we have been examining up to this point.
What we saw before were individuals reporting their experiences, and mostly in wave one, but now what we've done is looked at victimization experiences in the last three waves of data collection, two through four, and the unit of analysis here is really the incident, and what we have are 630 incidents that are 117 harassment incidents, 151 assaults and 370 thefts, and we have here on this chart whether or not the teachers in that particular incident were satisfied or dissatisfied with how it was handled by the school.
So working from left to right on the chart, the stack bars show, in blue, satisfied teachers in those incidents and, gray, dissatisfied teachers, and in total, you can see it's pretty split between satisfied and dissatisfied, with assault being most likely to prove satisfied teachers in terms of the school response to the incident, and the harassment and theft cases equally likely in terms of finding incidents to be satisfactory to the teachers that reported them, both 46 percent of the time.
So one of the takeaways here, or one of the other questions we might ask is, what's a correlate with dissatisfaction? And one of the things we thought about is how teachers were treated during their interactions with administration might be a fruitful area of consideration, so I have this chart which is victimized teachers' satisfaction with school responses and procedural justice.
So this slide presents a chart that's really a bivariate analysis linking procedural justice with satisfaction.
It's kind of a gross approximation of an analysis Dr. Moon and I did.
Again, these are the same incidents from the previous slide from waves two through four, and what we're interested in here is the satisfaction level with respect to quality of decision making and quality of treatment by administration.
Those are two key umbrella terms for procedural justice theorists such as Tom Tyler.
So quality of decision-making comprises sort of administration being neutral, unbiased, allowing participation, which you could think of as conceivably being victims having an opportunity to offer input or voice.
Quality of treatment, on the other hand, is comprised of respectful treatment, demonstrable care and concern by authority, so providing resources, referrals, support for victims, a manner of interaction that is respectful and not disrespectful: Those would be the hallmarks of positive procedural justice on behalf of administration.
So the variations in perceptions of how authority handle incidents like those here among those seeking assistance is the correlate that we're looking at with satisfaction.
So we created a procedural justice index that's some 13 items that reflect quality of treatment, quality of decision making, and categorize them into three groups that you see here.
There's low procedural justice, this is the lowest quartile over here on the left One hundred and fifty-one of the incidents where characterized by the teachers as having low procedural justice.
The middle procedural justice, which is the middle 50 percent, is 331 of the incidents, and high procedural justice is 156 incidents that were characterized by respectful treatment, by caring, concern, et cetera, and what you can see here if you look at the blue, again, being satisfied, gray being dissatisfied, low procedural justice, 4 percent of the teachers reported being satisfied with how administration handled their case or the situation.
We move all the way over to the right, high procedural justice, we see 95 percent of teachers saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with the way the school handled the incident, and so the takeaway I think might be that victimized teachers evaluate the response of administration along the dimensions of these subjective components: quality of treatment and quality of decision-making.
So we introduced a 4-year longitudinal research survey with more than 1,600 active teachers at wave one.
The survey yielded a variety of interesting and, to our knowledge, novel findings.
First, we were surprised by the high prevalence of teacher victimization, and its stability and some patterns of change that we're able to measure over the course of 4 years.
Second, the extensive physical and emotional consequences from school-based victimization are readily apparent in the sample, and we -- Some of our research kind of digs a little bit deeper into that.
Third, the administration response that we've observed here, when measured against that standard of procedural justice, seems to be very strongly correlated with teacher satisfaction, and, probably importantly, offers a possible pathway for considerations both of future research but also interventions into this phenomenon.
So, finally, not a finding, we very much appreciate your time and interest in our research, and we look forward to hearing from you during the question-and-answer session, so thanks for letting us share this with you.
>> Thank you so much, John.
Your presentation is right on point and very informative, and I just want to take another moment to say that our hearts go out to Professor Moon and all the folks in Texas and any other parts of the country that are being negatively effected by the weather conditions in this country right now, and I'm so glad that we're able to join virtually so that at least those of here are able to avoid the worst of that.
With that, I'm going to turn it over to our next presenter, Billie-Jo Grant, who is going to talk about "Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Pre-K-Through-12 Students by School Personnel," and it's a policy implementation study.
Billie-Jo? >> Great.
Thank you so much for having me today.
I'm just going to get us all set up here.
So, yeah, we're going to further our discussion about some difficult topics here, but this Department of Justice study was funded in 2015 through 2017, and it looked at K-through-12 school employee sexual misconduct, and this is a topic that hasn't had a lot of research done in it, and so it was wonderful for us to get some grant funding to further the research in this topic area.
First, just want to say some thank-yous to the team at Magnolia Consulting and our advisors through S.E.S.A.M.E., which is a nonprofit that's dedicated to preventing this issue nationwide.
We had a very well advisors serve on our project as well as Roger Collins, who's a former superintendent in Virginia, and then a big thank-you to all the participants who participated in this study.
As you can probably project that this would be a very difficult topic to discuss and to be a participant in, so we appreciate all of the folks that participated in the interviews and focus groups during this study.
Let's hop in.
So for most of us in the United States, we send our kids off to school, and we trust those teachers to serve in the role of in loco parentis and keep our kids safe, and, unfortunately, when our kids are off at school those 7, 8 hours a day, we don't necessarily know what goes on behind those closed doors, and so the question becomes, "Well, are our kids safe at school?" and, unfortunately, school- employee sexual misconduct is all too common in our school system, and for this study, we used the definition of contact and noncontact sexual misconduct.
So contact is something that most of you probably know, sexual harassment, misconduct that's a contact in nature, but noncontact could also include actions such as inappropriate communication or showing of pornography or things like that.
We also, in our definition, included all school employees, so this include school employees that are licensed and nonlicensed, so that can be teachers, coaches, school bus drivers, secretaries, administrators or anyone who works at the school.
As I mentioned before, there is a dearth of information in this topic area, and the best study that we have that's generalizable to the US population was conducted a very long time ago.
The data was actually collected in the year 2000 and reanalyzed in 2004, and it found that 9.6 percent, or one in 10 students, will experience school-employee sexual misconduct by the time they graduate from high school, and this extrapolates to about 5 million students in our K-through-12 school systems that will experience some sort of sexual misconduct by the time they graduate, and, again, while data is very old, it is the best data that we have that's generalizable to date.
Some additional background that you might be wondering, "Well, why don't we have any other additional information on this topic area? Why isn't there something better?" and, unfortunately, there are no national surveys that currently collect data on this topic area, and criminal records don't include type of employment, so you might think that, "Oh, well, why can't we go to the courts and get all the files for sexual misconduct? " Unfortunately, it's classified as indecent liberties with a child, which then doesn't have the type of employment, so we can't just pull the number of sexual misconduct cases.
And then the national surveys, you might think youth Crime Victimization Survey, they should have something, but they don't, so the best thing that we do have are a lot of media reporters and the data collection.
As I mentioned, the nonprofit, S.E.S.A.M.E., for the last so many years we've been collecting -- I also serve on a board for that foundation, and we've been collecting the Google alerts.
So every time, "Teacher arrested for sexual harassment of a student," pops up, we document it in an Excel document, and it's, "Teacher arrested," so it's not convicted, but these are the number of headlines that pop up for us each year.
So 459 cases in 2014, and you'll see that this varies by year, but this will go on to be the sample that we, excuse me, the population that we pulled our sample from, the 2014 cases, and that's how we're able to to identify the school districts for the study.
Unfortunately, these cases that are documented here are very much just the tip of the iceberg and that these are the ones that are actually reported to law enforcement and that are known to us that are in the public record, and it's estimated that about 95 percent of cases are actually handled internally, so they're not reported to law enforcement or in the media, so it could be a much bigger issue.
It's just unfortunate we don't have a lot of information, and then, even further, that students are very reluctant to report.
This is very embarrassing.
It's a very difficult thing to report, and so very students actually will come forward due to shame and embarrassment.
So these are just a visual of the many headlines that come across, and just wanted to reiterate that this is very much an everyday experience in our school system that we see these headlines, sometimes multiple headlines a day, in our system, and so, you know, as an example, "A 22-year-old Lincoln High School teacher has been arrested on sexual assault charges for allegedly having a relationship with a 16-year-old female student," "A Phoenix Elementary School Teacher is accused of sexually abusing an 8-year-old student," and those could go on and on and on.
So we do know that the victims span various demographics.
They're most often female, and they can be classified as the needier students, so those that maybe have a broken home life, they may be more likely to be targeted.
For the offenders, we might -- A lot of us might think, "Okay, well, it's the creepy pedophile in the corner, the one with the trenchcoat on," but unfortunately, oftentimes, is a very popular or award-winning coach or an award-winning band director or teacher, and they're not necessarily that creepy pedophile, and they may have had something that happened in their life that they become an opportunistic offender, we call it.
So the opportunity for offending presents itself, and they don't take proper precautions to limit the behaviors that they're having, and it's a downward spiral into this misconduct that they're rationalizing, but we do see that it's typically one-on-one access, and they're most often male, and we did do a further study on the characteristics of this 2014 database, and there's an article out there with further details on that if you want to dive into it more.
So you might also think, "Well, how does this happen?" and the grooming process, because teachers have a power relationship, so they're in charge of students' grades, their playing time, discipline, letters of recommendation.
They have what's called a quid pro quo relationship with students, and so they're able to say, "Well, if you don't do this, then this bad thing is going to happen to you," and so they have a lot of power over students, and there's a lot of boundary-crossing behaviors that come into play for that grooming, with personal communication, extra attention, jobs and gifts that allow that grooming to take place, and those boundaries are slowing being crossed on until the actual physical sexual misconduct might occur.
The effects on victims are grave.
This goes on to be effects on the community.
It could be result in effects to the school district in terms of civil suits, lawyer fees.
It could result in the community having students pull out from that school district and just a general cultural change.
So this study was founded, there are quite a few different laws out there that work to prohibit sexual misconduct in schools.
You might be aware of mandatory reporting laws or the Adam Walsh Protection Act, but Title IX actually is the backbone of providing a lot of the guidance on preventing sexual misconduct in schools, and it's been around for a long time, and there's been different guidance issues, and now we have some new guidance out, but this report was based primarily on the 2001 document that was out as well as the 2011 and 2014 before they were rescinded, but many of these foundations of Title IX still exist today, but what it says is that if a student is participating in any educational program or activity as part of a school that they're protected under Title IX from being exposed to sexual misconduct, and if they are, they could be held liable for civil damages if they're not complying to that.
We also found in this study that there were lots of loopholes, as I mentioned from the research, that school staff tended to lack knowledge and awareness of policies and what to do.
There tended to be a failure to report, and there's studies out there where principals do not report sexual misconduct and instead chose to handle it internally.
Many states did not require training, and there are multiple states across the US that were not requiring training for their staff or their students, despite recommendations for Title IX, and then competing roles for investigations.
There's just a lot of web of loopholes of why these still continue to occur, so what did we do? So we wanted to examine, "Well, how did the districts that recently experienced an incident, and I mentioned that 2014 database, how did they define, interpret and implement policies before and then after the incident occurred?" And we wanted to identify some best practices for preventing and responding to school employee sexual misconduct and then improve the current policies with findings from our data.
So this was a qualitative study.
We had five districts that were recruited.
Again, these districts had a case or multiple cases of school employee sexual misconduct.
We often had what I call the champion for change that was very interested in seeing change in this topic area, and that's why they were willing to talk with us.
As you can imagine, this is a very difficult topic for people to discuss.
We were asking them about their knowledge of policies, about their investigations, about any changes to the practices, procedures, recommendations for improvement or changes and then talking about any trainings or case documents or things like that, so very much a qualitative study and trying to come up with, "Well, how was Title IX implemented and how did things change after they had some incidents occur?" This is, again, a case-study design, a lot of sensitivity and bias in that folks don't -- They don't want to incriminate themselves or have information out there that's going to look bad for their district, and then access to document collection was difficult as well just because we had to request those documents, so there may have been limitations to what was shared.
These are the 2014 cases across the US that we recruited the sample from, and despite it being a very small sample size for districts, they did vary in location and size.
We used analytic induction, inter-rater agreement and then developed this Title IX framework, so tried to see, "Well, based on the criteria or the policies, how did folks implement these recommendations at their school district?" So Title IX is a pretty comprehensive recommendations, very lengthy, the different documents that are out there, and we wanted to make this simple.
We wanted people to be able to see what we found and be able to implement some changes at their districts, and so we boiled those Title IX recommendations down into six key areas, and one was having comprehensive policies and procedures.
Two, prevention efforts, three, training for staff, students and parents, four, timely reporting, five, thorough and coordinated investigations and, six, an effective response, and what we were able to do is map those onto the Title IX documents and showing folks, "Well, where do these come from? What's the criteria and where did that come from in the Title IX documents?" And I'm going through this quickly just to give you an overview of the findings, but all of these are publicly available in the final report for this project.
For each of these areas, we then had a finding.
What did we find with regards to that area? What were the challenges and what were the participant recommendations?" So we'll quickly scan through those for a limited time today, but take you through some of the findings.
So for policies and procedures, school district policies and procedures did not address all key elements of Title IX guidance, and the challenges that folks mentioned were lack of model policies, difficulty directing technology use and ambiguity of boundaries around physical conduct, and our recommendation was to have clear policies, especially around technology and social media use and provide guidelines for appropriate behaviors, and this is...
As we see more and more cases that involve technology, the recommendation is to have that technology-use policy around, "Can you communicate via text? Can you communicate via e-mail or outside school e-mail or social media? What are the guidelines there?" And we did break this down in the report by district to see, "Well, what are the requirements for policy and the different elements about having a policy that covers sexual misconduct specifically, boundary-crossing behaviors, grievance, identifying your Title IX coordinator or having a notice of nondiscrimination?" And you can see that there was various levels of implementation, and, unfortunately, even with the policies -- Even with -- these cases being present in the districts, they still didn't change their policies after having one or two very public cases happen, and then, for prevention, all schools and an increase in awareness of school employee sexual misconduct and what behaviors help to prevent incidents from occurring, but they were very reluctant to believe that it could ever happen again.
Many people said, "Well, that was just a one-time thing.
There's no way -- That was just an anomaly.
It was an isolated incident," so even though they'd have a case, they didn't want to invest the time.
They felt that it was uncomfortable to have these conversations, that, "Well, those are things that just people should know and that we don't need to dive further into prevention." But recommendations were to have a proactive in response -- Be proactive in responding to suspicious behaviors, encourage accountability and improve district leadership.
Those districts that did have a leader at the top that was a champion for preventing this issue really had a system-wide change, and those that did not tended to be -- have a more haphazard response.
Four of the five school districts had various trainings for staff, and Title IX would say that training is required for all staff, and now the jurisdiction would say that any employee that has notice, it qualifies as jurisdiction under Title IX, and -- But only one offered training for students, and none offered training for parents, and many people said, "Well, there's just not enough time.
There's not enough budget," but the recommendation would be to have those annual staff, student and parent trainings and include real-world examples, and that would be for both the licensed staff and your non-licensed staff, so we can't -- I'm sorry.
I've been clicking through the other -- Nobody told me I was clicking through the wrong one, but this would be for the nonlicensed staff and the licensed staff as well, so we need to make sure that we're presenting to both parties.
And then for reporting, participants indicated being more likely to report future incidents due to improved awareness and reporting requirements and an increased use of technology to facilitate reporting.
And even though the reporting increased or the likelihood of reporting was increased, they still had a fear of reporting what could be their friends and colleagues or fear of that community and media response, so there was still a lot of reluctance to report and difficulty identifying warning signs.
And then, for investigations, I know I'm running short on time here, but three of five school districts improved their investigation processes, but they had challenges with poor communication or competing roles between internal and external investigations and challenges with technology, and the recommendation would be to have an MOU in place between the different parties.
And then for response, Title IX also outlines the various responses that should be taken to -- once a complaint has been made, including it to make sure it doesn't happen to that individual or to other individuals on campus, and unfortunately not a lot was done to establish a response in these districts.
Okay, so I'm going to leave it there.
There's more in the report that we have online, but I appreciate everybody's attention and look forward to any questions you might have.
>> Thank you very much, Billie-Jo, and I will -- I'm glad you mentioned the questions.
I will remind all the participants that there is a Q and A box at the bottom of your screen in the middle, and you can just sort of drag your cursor down there and open that up and ask questions.
Type them in, and we'll handle all questions and answers at the end, and now we will transition to a presentation on teacher perceptions of school safety and climate by Jennifer Maeng.
>> Hi. Can you all see just my presentation? >> Yes, we can.
>> Okay, perfect, so, hi.
I'm excited to be here today with you all.
My name is Jen Maeng and I'm a research associate professor at the University of Virginia, and I work with Dr. Dewey Cornell, and his research team, so I am here today to present some work that we have done on our most recent school climate grant through the National Institute of Justice.
In particular, we are going to be looking at teacher perceptions of school safety and climate.
So before I get started, I would just like to acknowledge that this is a team effort, so here is a picture of our team.
Again, Dewey Cornell is the PI of this project, but there are a lot of people who worked together to make this happen, so I am presenting on all of our behalf.
In my presentation today, I'm going to talk about three components of this particular project.
I'm going to talk about the context of the project.
I'm going to talk about the findings associated with this particular project and with an emphasis primarily on teacher outcomes, and then I'm going to talk about some implications for policy in practice.
So as we know, school climate has been widely recognized as a critical factor in violence prevention and school safety.
It is well researched.
There is lots of policy documents and prevention documents out there relating to school climate, and the US Department of Ed.
came out in the past 10 years with some guidance for schools to make school climate kind of a forefront factor in thinking about disciplinary practices and thinking about how to support an environment where all students can learn effectively, and measuring climate and safety has been a national priority.
So we conceptualized school climate in our research team as primarily along two dimensions, this concept of support and this concept of disciplinary structure.
This comes out of the parenting literature where research has found the developmental literature that parents who are both demanding and warm with their children are more effective than authoritarian parents, who are demanding but cold, or permissive parents, who are warm but not demanding, or disengaged parents, who are neither warm nor demanding, and so we conceptualized school climate in a similar way, where a positive school climate or an authoritative school climate would have high structure.
A school with a positive school climate would have high structure, aspects of high structure and high support, and in schools where we find that we have high structure and high support, and, again, this is based on three previous grants we've had from NIJ starting in about 2010, where we've studied this over time, that schools -- In these schools that are authoritative or have high structure and high support, students have better academic performance.
There are higher graduation rates.
There's less pure aggression and bullying and lower rates of risk behaviors by students, and so, you know, schools are most effective when discipline is strict and fair and teachers are supportive.
We talk a lot about outcomes for students, and it's important to consider the fact that we also can think about outcomes for teachers, so a positive school climate is also important for teachers, and it sort of has a reciprocal effect.
So in schools with a positive climate, we have seen in previous studies that students are more engaged, which subsequently makes it easier for teachers to teach, and students in schools with a positive climate have more positive relationships and better rapport with their teachers, and subsequently we see fewer discipline problems, less aggression toward teachers and greater teacher engagement.
So the study that -- So that's kind of some background.
The study that I want to talk about today had three primary goals.
This is our most recent 3-year NIJ grant.
Our goals were to investigate stakeholder understanding and use of school-climate data, so how do principals, administrators, teachers, parents, students use school climate data, to improve the school climate reporting process for schools and to identify some longitudinal associations between climate characteristics, safety and equity in student outcomes.
For this presentation, I am going to focus on goal one and goal three, with a particular emphasis on our outcomes related to teacher perceptions and teacher outcomes.
So we have a whole lot of data from students and staff, and staff in various roles, teachers, administrators, principals, support staff, but I am going to focus in this presentation today on our outcomes for teachers.
So our school-climate study, we have been surveying students and teachers biannually in middle and high school, so grades six through eight teachers and students and grade nine through 12 teachers and students in high schools in alternating years.
We surveyed middle schools in odd years.
We surveyed high schools in even years, with the support of the Virginia Department of Ed.
and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Service.
We have high participation annually.
Approximately 99 to 100 percent of schools in our state complete the survey, and within those, 70 to 80 percent of students and about 50 percent of staff complete the surveys.
We integrate the survey results with school characteristics that we obtain from the Virginia Department of Education, so things like school size, race, ethnicity, grades, sex and academic outcomes, like state test scores and high school completion rates, and then disciplinary outcomes like suspension and expulsion rates, which we obtained from state databases.
So as a part of this work, each school receives a report of outcomes for their particular school.
Those reports are about 25 to 35 pages.
They contain student and teacher perceptions.
So in any given year, we generate roughly 300 reports in the middle school year and 280 or so reports in high school years.
We also provide comparison to the region or the division that the school is in, and then state norms.
For this particular study, we also interviewed and surveyed stakeholders on how they used and understand the reports.
So reports are widely used by stakeholders.
So these are principal responses from our 2018 high school survey, and these are parallel to those we've see in the 2019 and 2020 surveys in terms of how principals use reports, and their primary uses are to set goals or plan activities for the following year, to identify areas for improvement, for planning professional development, for trying to improve discipline, addressing bullying and increasing student support.
So we see that principals use these reports, or report using these reports, for a variety of reasons to support improvement in their schools and to plan for subsequent years.
What's interesting is we also asked staff across all middle and high schools across all 8 years of survey implementation whether or not they wanted to see the results of the climate reports and whether or not they had seen.
So had administrators shared their particular school's climate report with them? It turns out, though administrators widely used these reports to implement and set goals and implement strategies for subsequent years and most staff wanted to see the reports, only about a third of staff had seen those reports.
So one of the recommendations that I'll address later has to do with increasing access to reports, right? So ensuring that little stakeholders have access to reports because staff, teachers, wanted to see these reports and typically did not have access to them, and a lot of the reasons that staff mentioned, that teachers mentioned wanting to see reports was to address concerns about safety, and then they were curious how their school compared to other schools in their division or in their regions, so primarily for comparison purposes in looking at student and safety outcomes.
So let's talk now about some relevant findings for teachers.
So I want to talk about kind of four areas that our survey for teachers addresses, and they conceptually fit into sort of four areas, so perceptions of safety and security and administrative responsiveness, teacher victimization, teachers' perceptions of zero tolerance disciplinary practices and then teacher perceptions of school resource officers.
So we ask teachers annually, and I am reporting the two most recent years of the survey in these data, whether or not they feel safe in the school and whether or not they feel there is adequate security in this school, and you can see that most teachers, more than roughly three quarters of teachers, feel safe and that there is adequate security in the school, so most teachers have positive perceptions of safety and security in the school.
In addition, most teachers do not feel that the challenges of managing student behavior are going to make them leave.
Only about a third say the challenges of student behavior will make them leave, and about 75 percent, in both middle and high school, feel that their administration supports them when they have a problem with students in their classrooms.
So overall, you know, this is a positive trend that most teachers feel their administration supports them, that their administration is responsive and that they are not likely to leave the school due to student behavior.
However 71 percent -- And this kind of parallels the first study that we heard about from our first speaker this afternoon.
Seventy-one percent of middle school teachers and roughly 54 percent of high school teachers reported at least once incidence of victimization, and in our particular study there are five items associated with victimization, staff, teacher victimization, and again, this is only teachers.
It does not include administrative staff or support staff.
So those five items are someone stealing or damaging property, being threatened by a student, being physically assaulted, having something rude said to me and then being threatened with a weapon, so those are our five items.
So while 71 percent of middle school teachers and roughly half of high school teachers reported an instance of victimization, when we disaggregate this by the type of victimization, we see that these are primarily related to theft and threats of harm, rather than physical assault or a threat with a weapon, and this is the percentage that reported at least one incident over the academic year, so the percentage of teachers that reported at least one incident.
So one of the ongoing controversies in schools is school discipline and the best way go to about this, and, you know it's very difficult to unpack this.
It is a complicated picture, and so we asked -- On our school-climate survey, we asked teachers whether or not they support zero tolerance in their schools.
And so about about 75 percent of middle school teachers support zero tolerance, and it seems that there may be, you know, a misconception among teachers that -- which is a plausible misconception based on how zero tolerance was introduced into schools -- that, you know, most teachers support zero tolerance, but there seems to be an assumption that this is associated with greater safety and improved behavior.
In one of the studies that came out of our current project we noted again that most middle school teachers support zero tolerance, but interestingly, in those schools there was also an association between support for zero tolerance and lower feelings of teacher safety and support for zero tolerance being associated with higher suspension rates.
So while there is a movement to reform this on the administrative and academic level, it appears that staff, maybe teachers on the front lines, might not be sold on this, and, you know, one of our recommendations is that we might need to do a better job of educating teachers about the pitfalls.
And so, you know, thinking about this, we also found that teacher support for zero tolerance was a stronger predictor of black than white suspension rates.
So while it was associated with high suspension rates overall, there was also a differential between suspension rates of black and white students.
So we need to...
While teachers obviously want information on school climate, and they want knowledge on this as evidenced by the fact that there are about 75 percent of teachers who wanted to know what was in their school-climate reports, it appears that we need to maybe do some instruction in this area.
Another relatively controversial area is SROs in schools, school resource officers in schools.
So in our middle schools and high schools, in middle schools we have roughly one to two SROs in a school or one SRO for every 500 students and similar ratio of one SRO per every 500 students in high schools.
So we look to teacher interactions and perceptions of SRO given the current controversy about having SROs in schools, and we have found that the current movement maybe to remove SROs from school doesn't appear to be supported by students, which I'm not going to present those data here, or teachers, but there is clear majority support for SROs, and this is also across racial group, though it is slightly lower with students of color, and so we asked how frequently teachers talked to SROs in their schools, and you can see that it's very similar for middle school and high school teachers.
We asked them if they felt that the SRO makes them feel safer in the school, and, again, most teachers agreed somewhat to strongly that SROs make them feel safer, that SROs make a positive contribution to the school.
We see a similar trend among teachers, and overall these were associated with feeling safer, adequate security, greater feelings of administrative support and less likely to leave the school, and they were also associated...
So positive teacher SRO perceptions were also associated with lower rates of victimization.
I'm almost done.
And so -- Could see Phelan popped back on my screen.
And so we have really three implications from our study as they relate to teachers and staff.
The first is that climate results should be more widely disseminated so staff members have access to them, that we need to educate our teachers on alternatives to zero tolerance policies, policies like restorative practice, PBIS and the negative outcomes associated with zero tolerance and that we need to make sure that we're looking objectively at the SRO role before we make decisions about their placements in schools.
We have published extensively from this grant, and we thank NIJ for their support in this study, and if you have any questions, again, happy to discuss those after our final presentation.
>> Thank you very much, Jen.
For our last presentation, I'm going to turn it over to Elise Pas.
This is "Coaching in Mixed Reality Practice to Improve Teachers' Detection and Prevention of and Intervention With Bullying in Middle School Classrooms." Elise? >> It would help if I unmute and put on my camera.
I was there for so long, I forgot that I wasn't showing my face.
Thanks, everybody, for hanging in.
So this is a talk that is about a grant that you can see is funded here.
Katherine Bradshaw was the PI, and I just want to acknowledge her work and Tracy Waasdorp and I who were co-PIs.
Just a really very joint effort here in the work.
So just very quickly, the grant is obviously was focused on bullying, and the reason for that is that we know that bullying has pretty far-reaching mental health, behavioral and academic impacts, not just on the students who are directly impacted by the bullying as victims but for the bystanders of bullying and for the adults in the building, as well.
And it is related pretty intimately with school climate, which I won't go into in more depth as Jen has obviously spent a lot of time talking about some of the school climate stuff.
And so just as a quick kind of definitional term, the keys to bullying is that these are repeated instances.
There's a power differential often in them, and they can be in a very wide range of types, so we could think about, like, physical bullying, verbal bullying, social bullying and cyberbullying.
And so this grant was focused on teachers, and so the reason for that is that state mandates are basically in every state in our country about the fact that the adults need to have interventions in place to address bullying.
We know that there's a high prevalence of bullying in schools.
We also know that students are not really reporting the instances of bullying to their teachers, and that comes out through survey research where we look at teacher report about the prevalence of bullying in the school and student report, and they often are very discrepant from one another, so the students are saying that it's happening a lot more frequently than the teachers do.
And so when digging deeper into that phenomenon to find out what's really going on there, we find that teachers really struggle to detect it.
They don't even know when it's happening.
When they do, they don't know what to do about it.
And what we find is that that nonresponse, the delayed responding, or the worst scenario is an ineffective response that makes it actually worse is really problematic for youth.
Students perceive that adults don't care when this happens whenever there's a nonresponse in particular, and the teachers feel really pressed for time in their day to address bullying, which students actually recognize as a problem, as well, so as part of this grant, we actually had done some focus groups with teachers and students, and these were some of the things that they were telling us.
They're also things that have been established in other people's research.
So we had developed a conceptual model for, how do you address this problem from a teacher angle? Lots of bullying intervention research is out there.
There's a lot of initiatives around bullying, but most of them focus on students and student skills but really a direct student kind of intervention, and this is a little bit different, and it's teacher-centric, so what we're thinking about when we think about, how do you address bullying in a classroom? These were specifically middle school classrooms.
We thought that there's this kind of core foundation, this bottom triangle that you see, where they have to have a positive classroom climate.
There's got to be positive behavioral supports in place that kind of promote positive behaviors just generally speaking, and teachers and students need to have good relationships because that relates to this whole idea of, like, if we know that students aren't going to teachers, some of that is because of the relationship is not there.
There's not trust, and that when we think about the actual things that we need to intervene with, with teachers that there's kind of three different processes that are happening at all times.
We have this underlying prevention that we need to be doing all the time, and that relates to those things that I just talked about in the triangle, but then in real time, teachers need to be able to see that bullying is happening, detect it.
They need to respond to it in real time in a way that's effective, and so those are the three different processes that we conceptualize as being important in working with teachers.
So preventing bullying, I already kind of touched on all of these.
The one thing I didn't say in the prior slide was just this idea that also -- So part of positive behavioral supports are kind of setting, teaching and reinforcing expectations around social behaviors.
I've done a lot of work in positive behavioral interventions and supports, a framework that promotes positive behavior, and a lot of places do that well but still aren't really talking about the social behaviors, things like setting expectations about how we choose groups to work with and exclusion, how we kind of engage in those less structured activities with peers, how we respond to peers when they have a wrong answer, so those things aren't always there as explicitly, so that's one of the areas we explicitly wanted to address, and then just generally speaking that, like, classroom management, that when there's a classroom where the instruction is engaging, it's well-paced, it kind of maintains structure, it just...
There's less time for kids to kind of get into those more negative...
not the bullying itself, but what we were conceptualizing as these more negative, low-level behaviors that emerged, but when you allow for those to happen in the classroom, it creates a climate where students don't think they can do even more than just that.
The detection piece, there's a lot that goes into this, so first is educating teachers about bullying, so they need to know what it is to be able to recognize it.
And then we really have a strong assertion that this is not easy to do.
To detect it takes practice and practice with different monitoring and brainstorming around how kind of some of my classroom management strategies that I'm already doing maybe, like active supervision might be helping with detection or where I can tweak those things or where I need to embed other areas, and then finally, sometimes it's happening, and you can't really see it, but if you have that trusting relationship with students, you'll actually know that it's happening from the students.
So there's a few different ways that teachers can come about this detection process, and finally, it's how they respond to bullying.
When we were developing this intervention...
And I mentioned we were doing focus groups.
It was really remarkable to us that not only the teachers -- This wasn't surprising.
The teachers told us, "It's just really hard with time," right? They're really pressed for time to get the academic content out, but even students recognize that they shared with us, like, "Well, the teacher is really stressed out.
They have, like, so much content to do, and they just, like, don't have time to meddle in relationships with kids." So what we were trying to do is develop social-emotional responses that actually validated how students were feeling or what they were experiencing, that actually demonstrate perspective taking and modeling.
All these are skills that are often the targets of student-focused bullying interventions, and we thought, "Well, there's two things we can achieve here." One, we can get them to actually model the behaviors that we're hoping students are going to do, and they have a lot of curricula around that in many schools.
And, two, that this would actually show that they do care, but they can also do it in a quick way, this kind of quick bonding and recognition of what the student is experiencing without completely taking the class off task, and that was what we realized very quickly in this focus groups.
If we couldn't find ways to help them do that, we were going to lose them.
And so another thing is when we talk about, like, ineffective responses, one that schools will do sometimes, which is very ineffective, is bringing perpetrators in with victims.
That can retraumatize a victim, that there's that power differential.
It was there when the bullying happened.
It's still there in that room, and so we worked with teachers.
This was kind of an educating aspect of it about having open discussions about bullying, about behavior but having separate conversations when there was an incident with the to parties involved and not trying to, like, bring them together or kind of force apologies or any of those types of things that people with very good intents will do at times that are ineffective and harmful.
And then, finally, responses includes consequences, right, so if there's clear bullying behavior, that we have very clear and consistently implemented consequences.
And part of that also comes out in the work that we did prior to developing this, so the classroom checkup is an established school-based coaching model that I've done a lot of different research projects on, and it is a great vehicle for structured professional development for teachers in a way that's empowering to teachers, that's -- It's not an expert model.
It's not telling them what to do, but it really engages teachers in a collaborative process that really speaks to what they're wanting to see change in their classroom and then helps them to get the skills that they need.
And so when we were thinking about this grant, we thought, "You know, the classroom checkup is this really great tool that right now the data, everything focuses on school classroom climate and kind of behavior management, and that stuff is all important here, and we could probably adapt this to add very specific elements of detection, prevention and responding to bullying and create a new coaching approach," and that's what we did.
We call it the Bullying Classroom Checkup, or BCCU for short.
And so the steps of this are the same steps that appear in the classroom checkup.
I wish -- What I just realized I didn't put in here is, like, a picture of the book, but there is a book by Wendy Reinke on the whole classroom checkup process, and it's an amazing resource if you're interested in that specifically, but it's a stage problem-solving coaching approach, which starts with assessment, moves into feedback and goal setting in a collaborative meeting with the teacher.
They're usually done together actually, feedback and goal setting, just logistically, and then there's practice in the regular classroom checkup and then kind of a maintenance process.
What we also adapted for bullying is we said, "You know, bullying is one of these things that is...
It is a high prevalence behavior, but it's not something you're going to necessarily see in a 15-minute or 30-minute observation as a coach every time you walk in a classroom," and so there were elements of it at the end.
It's a behavior that is damaging to kids, right, so you don't really want to have teachers, like, trying out new things that might not go very well with a live classroom, so the other neat part about the BCCU is that we integrated in guided practice in what's called the TeachLivE simulator, and I'll talk a little bit more about that in a moment, but the idea behind is that instead of doing what was normally done, which is teachers just practice in their regular classroom.
A coach might come back in and give them additional feedback, and they might continue to kind of tweak what they're doing.
This was like, let's get them out of the classroom in a non kind of live setting with simulated students and let them really practice, so they can form what we call, like, that muscle memory around the different responses or ways to detect bullying that might be really challenging to do in a classroom situation.
So the mixed reality simulator was developed at the University of Central Florida by Lisa Dieker, Michael Hynes and Charles Hughes.
This is a picture of what it looks like.
There's actually two different interfaces.
This is the younger kids interact, and then there's, like, a more teenaged-looking.
These five students are deliberately meant to be diverse in their personalities, their demographics and the way they interact, and they have a stable behavior personality kind of profile across any time you get into the simulator with them.
What the simulator is, it has some technology, too, that where it can track people's movement, so if you move forward towards one of the students, like you want to get close to Maria who's down in that bottom left, you can move your body, and you kind of zoom in, and suddenly, Maria is a lot closer to you, so it has, like, kind of a feel that you're actually in a room.
And it was developed originally for preservice teachers.
It's actually used all over the country in preservice training.
The last time I had checked on it, it was in about 80 preservice programs in the U.S.
It's probably in more now, but we thought, like, "This could be a really great tool for in-service teachers, as well." So the idea is that we were able to bring them into the simulator, which is...
It's not, like, a place that you go.
You just bring a screen and a computer and a webcam and microphone, and then the teacher, wherever...
We used to do it in conference rooms.
You could do it in any room that you can set up the space, stands in front of the screen, interacts with the kids, can move closer and further from them and talk directly to them as a result.
And then they are getting coached in this session, so we had three sessions for teachers where they could work on detection and responding in real time while delivering a lesson plan we had developed meant to be kind of an easy curriculum kind of lesson plan for them to walk in with but that they would have to practice how they interacted with students, and to the extent to which they were preventing bullying very well, it wasn't emerging.
To the extent to which they weren't, it would emerge in that session, and then to the extent to which they respond effectively, it would kind of decrease, and the extent to which they did not respond effectively, it would kind of amplify.
And so we developed this model, like, through the focus groups, like I said, through the work that we've done with the classroom checkup and the consultants who have developed that model, and then we piloted it with a few teachers, and then we had a small 1-year RCT...
actually, 2-year RCT where we randomized 80 middle school teachers in five middle schools, so there were 40 in each group, and they received very active coaching for the full first year and then some follow-up support, like booster coaching and an additional simulation session in the second school year.
So this is quickly just their demographics of our teachers, so you just kind of get a sense of who they were, majority female, majority White and average teaching about 3 years.
So we collected data from the teachers and looking at the forms of bullying, so whether or not -- yes/no they had kind of had actually witnessed these different forms, how they responded, and we gave a kind of series of nine different responses they might have made.
How they perceived the bullying efforts in the building, so just a question about, do you think that adults in this school do enough to stop bullying? And then we also asked for feedback about their coaching experience.
At baseline, there were no significant differences between the two groups, so the randomization worked, if you will, and there was definitely a high endorsement of a need for this type of coaching.
To examine our outcomes, we used GLMs to look at the general perceptions and...
Oh, I actually didn't mention this, so we actually did teacher classroom observations by trained folks in the research team who were blind.
They didn't know anything about the study, and they didn't know what status the teachers were, and they collected tallies of proactive behavior management, so like, setting up the kids for success by saying what they expect before behavior emerges that they didn't want and approval behaviors, like telling them that they did a great job or more wonderfully when they give behavior-specific praise, like, "I really like the way you did this," and then global ratings of positive behavior supports and teacher responding.
Those were all continuous variables that we modeled with the GLMs, and then for those variables I said that were like, "Yes/no, did you see these forms? Did you respond in this way?" those were logistic regressions, and in every model, we were adjusting for teacher factors, like their race, the years of their teaching, their gender and what grade they were teaching.
So what we found was that at the end of the first year, we saw that teachers had actually lower scores, more disagreement that teachers were doing enough, and we actually interpret that as that their perceptions of what is enough might have been shifting, right, that before they thought what they were doing was enough, and with some education about bullying started to realize maybe it was falling short.
And we also saw that same kind of phenomenon emerge to the question about if they perceived bullying to be a problem.
In terms of the types of things that they witnessed, we had some greater detection, marginally significant.
Now none of this was actually significant, but they seemed to be detecting it...
higher odds of detecting teasing, picking on, making fun as one group; hitting, slapping, kicking, ignoring, excluding, and then also, we asked them where they see the bullying behavior, so classroom was one of those options, and then it's in other parts of the building that they can endorse, so we interpret that as they were kind of creeping towards maybe greater detection of bullying, and the reason we can actually include that, which I haven't gotten to yet is because when we observe students' behavior, we did not see an increase in aggressive behavior in our intervention classroom, so it wasn't that they were actually seeing more because it was happening more.
It was just that they might have been detecting more.
And then we see significant effects in their responses, so teachers who had been coached were more likely to report that they intervened with the bully, the victim, talked to other staff and referred to guidance counselors, so all of those things became, like, four to five, six times more likely for a teacher who had been coaching, indicating that they might have been not only increasing their responses, but they were...
We think about, like, the fact that they were going to guidance counselors as being an effective response.
We did not have observed changes, so I mentioned already we did not see changes in student behaviors for the positive or the negative, so we didn't see worse aggression, but we also didn't see better rates of aggression, but we also did not observe statistically significant differences in the other classroom management indicators.
I see there.
I'm just about done.
And so this...
I mean, we find this to be pretty promising.
We wouldn't kind of say this is, like, the most compelling data that you can create.
We do not see sustained effects in the second year, and that's something that we've done a lot of thinking about on our team, and it's something that's actually recurrent in coaching literature, unfortunately.
For the few people who are actually looking at long-term outcomes, it's not actually being sustained, and we have to really do a lot more thinking about how to get these changes sustained, but this is very promising that we're seeing improved responding and trends of improved detection in bullying with a relatively short, like 4 hour of active teacher time coaching.
That's not a lot of time to ask of teachers.
And so we feel excited about that, and we think that it's exciting because it's so different from the norm with bullying, that we are really working in a way with teachers rather than students, that we're emphasizing kind of the teacher's social-emotional capacity in addition to their classroom management and the way that they're connecting with kids, and the guided practice is very rare in coaching literature even in my own that I...
I do a lot of different coaching research studies, and mixed reality simulation and just guided practice with feedback live is a rare element and I think probably a really important one for developing expertise.
So thank you to the developers of all the important parts of our intervention and the coaches.
This is a published study that you can find in the International Journal of Bullying Prevention.
I also am very involved with a network in Maryland around PBIS, and we write research briefs on basically all of our research these days, it feels like, and so if you go to this pbismaryland.org website under resources and research briefs, you'll see a whole host of them, and there's a one-pager here about this study, as well, if that's more your speed than the full journal article.
Thank you for your time and attention.
>> Thank you so much, Elise, and I'd ask that each of our presenters turn on your cameras for a moment because we don't have a lot of time here, but I want to just quickly sort of raise a question or make a comment and see if you have any other things you'd like to share.
You know, this session...
I think one way you could look at this session is, "Well, we're dealing with some different kinds of issues.
We're dealing with teacher victimization.
We're dealing with teacher perpetration of offenses.
We're dealing with training teachers to recognize things." But what we really emphasize with this session and bringing these presentations together is that teachers are at the center of so much of what's happening when it relates to school safety, and sometimes, that's somehow lost.
It almost seems like that's lost sometimes, and so, you know, I think that a number of the presentations talked about policies and how they work, and you know, a sense of procedural fairness was brought up and issues related to, you know, perceptions of how well the policy makers responded and sort of, did they make any changes when they saw issues come up? So, you know, I don't know how much, you know, more we want to say about these topics, but I just open the floor to the presenters.
If you'd like to sort of share some thoughts that came to your mind as you thought about these different presentations and sort of that centrality of the teacher's role.
I'll just open it up to whomever might like to share a thought.
>> I can chime in.
I think with policies it's really important not only to have the written policy but then also have efforts for implementation and accountabilities, so there needs to be a team of people that are checking in or a way for people to upload and document that they're doing what they should be doing, almost like a home inspection report of these schools that, "Hey, yeah, we did all these things this year! And, yes, we checked all those boxes," and we can't just have a policy or a law.
It needs to be implemented and checked on so that it's effective.
And people need to know about it.
>> Right, and it's also a way of sort of giving a read on whether these policies are properly formulated, right, so if we're sort of checking on them and sort of getting feedback on them, it gives us an opportunity to consider if there's a need for changes and this type of thing, and these are things that almost seem like luxuries in a school environment because everybody is sort of running and trying to, you know, do their tasks, but it's so important for maintaining a safe environment, both for the students and for the teachers.
Any other thoughts? >> You know, I actually...
I think really, Joe, her talk about sexual misconduct made me kind of think about the teachers as this kind of glue between the students and the organization itself, right, and how do you report the teachers as reporters of this, right, if they know something is going on? And also students, right, and then I actually...
I thought, too, about Jen and Elise's presentation also about this flow of information, like, being able to name something as sexual misconduct or bullying or getting the information, right, so I think there's several units of analysis that we're looking at here that are working together, and I really...
I think Jen's research especially, I was like, "Oh, I'm envious of, you know, having 168 schools and knowing a lot about what students say and what teachers says," and I hope we can emulate some of what you're all doing with Dewey, but I think there's some real commonalities here.
My other hat that I wear is in police research, and I really thought that kind of that lack of information flowing through a organization is a common theme, right, that organizations are very hesitant to empower people at the bottom if that information is going to affect the organization at the top, and that seems to be kind of a theme that we're all talking about, bullying, sexual misconduct, teachers and zero tolerance, our own research about whether teachers report, so I just saw that theme kind of running through when I was listening to each of you, and I really appreciate the research that you're doing, and it all sounded...
I learned a lot, which is not unusual for me because I know very little.
So I appreciate your work.
>> Any other thoughts? >> I can't imagine that's actually true, John, but thank you.
I felt the same way.
And I like that you've tried to kind of pull it together for folks about where the common threads are, and the only thing I would about policies is actually putting the supports, though, in.
I think that's, for me, the biggest lacking piece.
Accountability is definitely lacking, too, but it's just that we also just expect people to kind of do everything and keep doing more in school buildings.
And we don't really build around enough support for people to actually achieve these lofty goals.
I mean, it's not a lofty goal to, like, not have sexual misconduct with the students, but, like, the lofty goals of, like, having regular education teachers really be able to juggle...
I was just at a classroom presentation yesterday, and they were saying, like, there's some data that says there's, like, 37 different to-dos on a teacher's mind, like, at any given moment.
Like, so just expecting them to, like, teach the science and be, you know, able to detect bullying and be able to identify when there might be an abuse issue with a child, like, to connect with every single student that comes in their room is a really high task, and we should be able to achieve that, but we have to build around the support to do.
>> And, Elise, my thinking about this was along similar lines, so I am a former high school teacher, and I immediately jumped to, "Oh," you know, teacher...
One of the things that we didn't talk about in this presentation that I think is critical is teacher preparation, how we're preparing our teachers to go out into classrooms and to, you know, do these 37 things simultaneously and interact with students in ways that are appropriate and meaningful and, you know, build community within the school.
And that just sort of seems like a piece that we want to make sure we kind of keep in mind is, you know, it's not just the teachers that are currently in the field that we need to consider, but we also need to consider our future teachers, right, and how we can support them, as well.
>> And so I just want to...
With our time expiring here, I just want to once again thank all of you for your presentations and all the work and research that you've done.
On behalf of the whole audience, I'll give you my virtual round of applause, and thank you once again for all your presentations.
Have a great afternoon.
>> Take care.
Opinions or points of view expressed in these recordings represent those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any commercial products and manufacturers discussed in these recordings are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.
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