What do you do when you want to conduct research, but not through a school, not for the government, not through an agency, and not for the paper? Nothing. I have fallen through the cracks. The head of research for Alachua County schools says the research scope of my project does not qualify it as research for which I could apply for approval (and I would need an IRB to work in multiple schools anyway), and the head of public information says because my project is unaffiliated, but not research but not journalism, I have no campus access. And turns out that despite the so-called Age of Web Journalism, you’re still not really a journalist unless you are “traditionally” affiliated.
So, I must return to where I probably should have began: knocking-on-doors anthropology. Silly me, thinking that my courses in Research Methods and Ethnographic Research, my ethics training, and my college degree would help me get ahead in my research interests! However, maybe it is time to go ahead and try the streamlined, formal approach with some other institutions in which bullying takes place.