Online Program

There comes the bull: Policy analysis and bullying prevention strategies in Puerto Rico's Department of Education

Monday, November 2, 2015

Yiselly Vazquez-Guzman, EdD, MPHE, CHES, Health Promotion Secretariat, PR- Department of Health, Cayey, PR
Bullying is one of the worst violence expressions in schools. In Puerto Rico, even though strong media attention has been placed on some cases, in general, the case documentation process has been inefficient. As a result, there is underreporting of cases and the severity of this problem is not properly addressed. Since 2008, public policies have been developed in the country to work with this problem. However, the implementation of these policies has not been consistent. The purpose of this study was to explore how the Puerto Rican school system implements the public policies and strategies for bullying (and cyberbullying) prevention, suggested by the Department of Education. The research methods included content analysis of policies, interviews with policy makers and focus groups with school staff (administrators, teachers and social workers). Qualitative analysis highlighted that policies were developed considering three main components: prevention, intervention and follow-up. According to participants, increased attention is given to prevention, yet it is limited to discussions and educational materials about bullying. Limited attention has been placed on the intervention and follow-up stages as they require the development of an action plan by a multidisciplinary staff, including administrators, teachers, social workers and parents. Considering the impact that bullying has in health and the learning process, prevention strategies should use different techniques to assure safe and peaceful school environments. Proper attention to the intervention and follow-up stages, as well as the participation of the school community is required to properly implement the policies and strategies for bullying prevention.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the policy content for bullying prevention, intervention and follow up in Puerto Rico. Discuss the recommendations to improve bullying prevention, intervention and follow up strategies in Puerto Rican Schools.

Keyword(s): Public Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: this research was part of my dissertation project, for my doctor in education degree.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.