School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Russell Yocum


abuse, administrator bullying, bullying, incivility, mobbing, workplace bullying


Educational Leadership


This transcendental phenomenological study discovered and explored the lived experiences of public school educators bullied by school administrators. Student bullying has been a problem, however, there has been much less attention given to educators who are bullied by their superiors. The research question guiding this study asked what are the lived experiences of public school educators who have experienced administrator bullying? The theory guiding this study was social cognitive theory by Albert Bandura. The study was conducted with 10 educators (former and current) in public school districts across the United States obtained by professional referrals and/or selected from identified cases of administrator bullying from state and national professional education associations, as documented proof of an incident was required. Data was collected through in-depth individual interviews that were conducted either in-person or via electronic means. Participants were required to keep journals containing entries from both before and after their interview with the researcher, along with any additional documentation pertaining to the perceived incidents. Data analysis involved examination of textural and structural descriptions to arrive at the essence of the phenomenon, with further analysis from journaling of experiences. The results revealed that the responsibility for action against workplace bullying from school administrators was not only a problem with the bully, but also an organizational issue. Incidents of bullying were brought to the attention of district officials and union representatives, but victims often had to endure changing locations or even leaving the field of education to get relief. The outcome of this study should provide attention to the problem of administrator bullying so school districts can address this crucial issue.