Understanding the Impact of Quebec’s Bill 56 on School Administrators’ Work in Maintaining Positive School Climate
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Bill 56 was a response to, and a recognition of, the need for action concerning bullying and violence in schools. In Quebec, the Ministère de L’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport mandated that school boards, schools, and principals deal with bullying and violence in schools by enacting Bill 56 in June 2012. However, although new laws and policies can provide supports and structures, their implementation often poses significant challenges for school administration. The purpose of this study was to examine Quebec school administrators’ perceptions of the impact of Bill 56 on their work in maintaining a positive school climate. The following research questions guided this study: 1. What are the goals and mandates of the anti-bullying legislation Bill 56 in the province of Quebec as stated in the document and perceived by Quebec school administrators? 2. How do Quebec school administrators see their responsibilities and roles changing in regards to the mandates of Bill 56? 3. What are school administrators’ perceptions of challenges and supports of the anti-bullying legislation Bill 56 in the province of Quebec? 4. What is the impact on school administrators’ confidence as they attempt to maintain a positive school climate within the context of the implementation of Bill 56? This study involved a document analysis and one-on-one, in-depth, semistructured, open-ended interviews with six school administrators of an English school board in Quebec. The interviewees were encouraged to share their thoughts, actions, and sense of confidence when dealing with the issues surrounding bullying and violence in their schools. Data were collected from March through June of 2014. The findings suggest that, overall, Bill 56 had a positive impact on school culture. Although the implementation of Bill 56 presented some challenges to the participants, the overall consensus was that Bill 56 positively affected and supported the work lives of principals. Participants acknowledged that creating and maintaining a healthy school climate by being transformational leaders was one of their main goals, and that Bill 56 has provided the framework to achieve that goal. However, there were different levels of confidence and varying manifestations of transformational leadership traits among the participants. Based on the research results, this thesis concludes with implications for theory, practice, policy, and further research.