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Accuracy of Principal and Teacher Knowledge of School District Policies on Sun Protection in California Elementary Schools
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    29346065
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5774306
  • Description:
    Introduction

    Policy is a key aspect of school-based efforts to prevent skin cancer. We explored the extent and accuracy of knowledge among principals and teachers in California public school districts about the elements specified in their district’s written sun safety policy.

    Methods

    The sample consisted of California public school districts that subscribed to the California School Boards Association, had an elementary school, adopted Board Policy 5141.7 for sun safety, and posted it online. The content of each policy was coded. Principals (n = 118) and teachers (n = 113) in elementary schools were recruited from September 2013 through December 2015 and completed a survey on sun protection policies and practices from January 2014 through April 2016.

    Results

    Only 38 of 117 principals (32.5%) were aware that their school district had a sun protection policy. A smaller percentage of teachers (13 of 109; 11.9%) than principals were aware of the policy (F108 = 12.76, P < .001). We found greater awareness of the policy among principals and teachers who had more years of experience working in public education (odds ratio [OR] = 1.05, F106 = 4.71, P = .03) and worked in schools with more non-Hispanic white students (OR = 7.65, F109 = 8.61, P = .004) and fewer Hispanic students (OR = 0.28, F109 = 4.27, P = .04).

    Conclusion

    Policy adoption is an important step in implementing sun safety practices in schools, but districts may need more effective means of informing school principals and teachers of sun safety policies. Implementation will lag without clear understanding of the policy’s content by school personnel.

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