A Case Study of Bullying Prevention and Intervention for Students with Disabilities in Middle School
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Researchers agree that students with disabilities (SWD) who are at increased risk for bullying perpetration and victimization require more intensive interventions than their peers without disabilities. In response to the recent call for integrating bullying prevention and interventions efforts into a multi-tiered framework such as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), this case study examined the nuances of how school personnel prevent and intervene with bullying perpetration and victimization of SWD in a middle school that has adopted this approach. Because SWD receive support from various school personnel, this case study described bullying prevention and intervention for SWD from the perspective of 18 participants, including general education teachers, special education teachers, related services personnel, school administrators, and a PBIS leader/coach. Data were obtained from multiple sources to ensure triangulation including interviews, documentation, and physical artifacts. Results revealed that the PBIS framework allowed school personnel to establish and promote a positive school climate. Additionally, a school-wide bullying prevention program was integrated into the PBIS framework. School personnel reported believing that bullying involvement of SWD was comparable to that of their peers without disabilities; however, the existing data collection provided insufficient information about the level of bullying involvement of SWD. Given the fluidity of the PBIS framework, SWD at risk for bullying tended to have easy and quick access to targeted Tier 2 interventions. More intensive and individualized interventions focusing on social and emotional skills related to chronic bullying or victimization were limited. Implications for future research are discussed.
positive behavior support