In this article I examine the factors that influence fifth grade student decisions regarding whether or not to report negative interactions to adults. Data from observations and interviews with students and adults show that there are many factors influencing the reluctance to tell on others. Among them is a school context in which verbal attacks are downplayed and telling is seen as ineffective and stigmatized. This context prevents bystanders from reporting what they have observed and places those with a lack of social support at a significant disadvantage when dealing with negative behavior.
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Harger, Brent. 2019. “To Tell or Not to Tell: Student Responses to Negative Behavior in Elementary School.” The Sociological Quarterly 60(3): 479-497.
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This article is available on the publisher's website: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00380253.2019.1625737