Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Organizational Theories, Framing Theory, Sensemaking Theory, Bullying, Cyberbullying, Educational Policy, Implementation, Administrators, School Districts

Major Advisor

Dr. Casey Cobb

Associate Advisor

Dr. Sarah Woulfin

Associate Advisor

Dr. Alan Marcus

Field of Study

Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)


Doctor of Education

Open Access

Open Access


School leaders across the country are challenged to build positive school climates by implementing policies aimed at tackling bullying. As educational policies — like anti-bullying policies — move from inception to implementation, school leaders oftentimes frame messages to garner support. As stakeholders engage in the policy implementation process, policies are often interpreted differently, potentially resulting in a transformation of the original intentions. The variety of options for ways to strategically frame anti-bullying policy has implications for practice in schools. The pressure for schools to be completely safe and secure while at the same time being open and welcoming creates a paradox for school leaders as they balance these values. This qualitative case study addresses the broader issue of state education policy implementation, with a specific focus on anti-bullying policies and laws. The findings of this study add to the growing body of work in organizational theory examining the role policy actors play in the implementation process as they utilize strategic framing. Additionally, this study provides insight on a critical area of needed investigation: bullying. This study has implications for policy makers and practitioners as its findings add to the bodies of research concerned with both implementation and school climate.